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May 12, 2008 

COAC Meeting Held in Washington, DC

The Department of Homeland Security's Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, commonly known as COAC, held its quarterly meeting last Friday in Washington, DC.

The COAC meeting agenda included a number of trade facilitation topics and Commissioner Basham reiterated CBP's renewed emphasis on trade-related issues when he stated that “We know that we’re going to have to focus more of our energies on trade enforcement and facilitation”.

Executive Director of Trade and Policy Programs Brenda Brockman Smith, gave a synopsis Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) new Trade Strategy, a plan to address the changes in the discourse with the trade community. According to CBP, the Trade Strategy has four main goals: (1) to facilitate legitimate trade and ensure compliance; (2) to enforce trade law and collect revenue; (3) to advance economic security; and (4) to intensify trade processes.

As an example of interagency collaboration, Carol Cave from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), spoke to COAC about import safety issues and the cooperation between CBP and CPSC.

The COAC members were also briefed on a number of other CBP programs and initiatives including: IPR enforcement, bond issues, Mutual Recognition status, ACE status, In-Bond processes, Secure Freight Initiative, Global Trade Exchange, Advance Trade Data (10+2), Conveyance Security Devices, agriculture programs and C-TPAT.

The next COAC meeting will take place on August 7, 2008 in Seattle, Washington.

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