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26

Statement by FMCS Director George H. Cohen on East Coast Ports Labor Negotiations

Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service / www.fmcs.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. — “I am pleased to report that the parties met the past two days under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and discussed a number of major issues.  As a result of these discussions, the parties will have their respective committees review their positions and analyze associated costs.  Meanwhile, the parties’ subcommittees will continue to meet in an effort to resolve additional outstanding issues.  Again, I wish to commend the parties for their hard work and their commitment to this process.”

“As is our custom and practice, due to the sensitive nature of these high profile negotiations, we will have no further comment on the schedule for the negotiations, their location, or the substance of what takes place during those negotiations.”


U.S. and Canada Announce New Pilot to Strengthen Cargo Security

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

Washington— The United States and Canada announced the launch of the Prince Rupert Pilot to strengthen cargo security at the Canada-U.S. border as part of the Integrated Cargo Security Strategy in the Beyond the Border Action Plan. The pilot focuses on harmonizing the screening process for maritime cargo between the two countries.

“The Prince Rupert pilot implemented under the Integrated Cargo Security Strategy is key to the ongoing efforts to facilitate legitimate trade while still maintaining our security mission at the border,” said U.S. Consul General Anne Callaghan. “Harmonization of the cargo screening processes between the United States and Canada should result in a more efficient and secured supply chain and increased competitive economic posture.”

“The Canada-U.S. relationship is one of the world’s greatest trade success stories and we are working together not just at the border, but beyond the border, to increase our shared prosperity,” said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. “Accelerating the movement of secure cargo between our two countries will contribute to job creation, strong economic growth and greater long-term prosperity for hard working Canadians and their families.”

The pilot, which began earlier this month, focuses on maritime cargo arriving at Prince Rupert, BC with subsequent movement via rail before entering the United States at International Falls, Minn. It utilizes a harmonized approach developed by the U.S. and Canada which allows for the screening of inbound cargo arriving from offshore.

On February 4, 2011, President Obama and Prime Minister Harper released the Beyond the Border Declaration, articulating a shared vision in which our countries will work together to address threats at the earliest point possible while facilitating the legitimate movement of people, and cargo across our shared border. The Action Plan, released on December 2011, outlines the specific steps our countries intend to take to achieve the security and economic competitiveness goals outlined in the Beyond the Border Declaration.


Acting Commissioner Announces Expansion of Simplified Entry/Cargo Release Pilot

U.S. Customs & Border Protection  / www.cbp.gov

Based on the success of the initial Cargo Release/Simplified Entry pilot, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is pleased to announce the expansion of the pilot for air cargo to additional participants and ports. Simplified Entry is the first phase of Cargo Release being developed in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).

On November 9, 2011 CBP published a Federal Register Notice (76 FR 69755), announcing the Cargo Release/Simplified Entry pilot for the air mode of transportation.

On June 4, 2012, CBP announced the delivery of Cargo Release/Simplified Entry with the first Simplified Entry filings at Indianapolis, Chicago and Atlanta. CBP initially selected nine filers to participate in the pilot: AN Deringer, Expeditors, FedEx Trade Networks, FH Kaysing, Janel Group of New York, Kuehne & Nagel, Inc., Livingston International, Page & Jones, Inc and UPS. Based on the success of the initial pilot, CBP has expanded the Cargo Release/Simplified Entry pilot.

On August 14, 2012, CBP published a Federal Register Notice (77 FR 48527), announcing the expansion of the pilot test of Cargo Release/Simplified Entry to additional participants. As a result, CBP has selected eleven new trade pilot participants: Alliance Customs Clearance Inc., Barthco International Inc. dba OHL International, CEVA Logistics, CSI Weiss-Rohlig USA Inc., Damco Customs Services, Inc., DHL Express, Inc. (USA), Future Forwarding Company, NEC Corporation of America, Scarbrough International, Ltd., Schenker, Inc., and UTC Overseas, Inc.

In addition to the three initial pilot ports, CBP has expanded the pilot to ten additional airports: Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Miami, JFK, Newark and Boston. In early November CBP will further expand the pilot to three additional ports, Detroit, Memphis, and Anchorage.

As of October 23, 2012, over 28,000 Simplified Entries have been filed for over 580 importers of record.

CBP will continue to build upon the Simplified Entry Pilot with future deployments of additional functionality until Cargo Release is fully available in ACE. For additional information on Simplified Entry/Cargo Release, including the Frequently Asked Questions, please continue to check the CBP website. 


Variable Message Signage Installed at Peace Bridge and Lewiston Bridge Crossings

New traffic management feature improves border transit experience for U.S. bound motorists and commercial carriers in Buffalo-Niagara region

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

Buffalo, N.Y. - Today the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (PBA), Niagara Falls Bridge Commission (NFBC), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), announced the completion of two U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) projects to install new variable message signage units at the Peace Bridge and Lewiston-Queenston Bridge.

This signage is intended to provide clear instructions to direct U.S. bound cars and trucks towards available CBP primary inspection lanes (PILs), and also provide greater flexibility in Trusted Traveler (NEXUS) and Ready Lane configurations. In addition, such signage will provide instantaneous or “click of a button” updating from port supervisor consoles, allowing the plazas to make more rapid adjustments to real-time traffic situations and queuing patterns.

“The LED signage fits with Customs and Border Protection’s Active Lane Management strategy and allows operations to adapt to specific traffic demands on the facilities,” said CBP Acting Director of Field Operations Randy Howe. “This LED signage is an excellent upgrade to the Peace Bridge and Lewiston facilities.”

“These signs make it much, much easier for motorists to determine which inspection lanes are open at the Peace Bridge,” said PBA General Manager Ron Rienas. “They also provide an aesthetic update for the plaza that, unlike past flip board and static-lit signage, will be really hard to miss.”

“The new variable message signs at Lewiston are a significant improvement over the previous signs and add flexibility for CBP,” said NFBC General Manager Lew Holloway. “The improved signage saves time and confusion by guiding travelers to the proper lanes, which could add up to real time savings for travelers over the course of a busy day.”

There were 18 color variable message signs installed at the Peace Bridge, while another 10 were installed at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. Design of the project was initiated in late 2011, with site construction completed in fall of 2012.

The signs are able to showcase different informational messages including closure notices, specific vehicle-type directions (truck, bus, RV, auto), and many other basic communications.

To complement the variable message signage effort, the PBA also undertook a $150,000 traffic statistics interface system upgrade, which will synchronize with the new signs and allow for further automation of crossing data collection.


CBP is Expanding Participation in ACAS

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

Washington — Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today (Wednesday, October 24, 2012) announced in a Federal Register Notice that it is formalizing and expanding the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) pilot. The ACAS pilot enables members of the air cargo industry to send and receive advance security filing data for their air cargo. CBP and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) receive the advance security filing cargo data and are able to help identify cargo shipments inbound to the United States that may be high risk and require additional physical screening.

Identifying high-risk shipments as early as possible in the air cargo supply chain provides CBP and TSA an opportunity to conduct a comprehensive review of cargo data while facilitating the movement of legitimate trade into the United States. Benefits to ACAS pilot participants may include: efficiencies by automating the identification of high risk cargo for enhanced screening before it is consolidated and loaded on aircraft and reduction in paper processes related to cargo screening requirements which may increase carrier efficiency. The Federal Register Notice sets forth eligibility requirements for participation and invites public comment.

Participation in ACAS is voluntary and open to all organizations associated with the air cargo supply chain, including passenger carriers, all-cargo carriers, freight forwarders, and express carriers. There are no restrictions with regard to organization size, location, or commodity type. Those interested in joining ACAS should review the Federal Register Notice for additional eligibility requirements.

ACAS was implemented following a terrorist attempt in October 2010 involving explosives concealed in packages on U.S.-bound aircraft from Yemen. CBP and TSA collaborated with the private sector to identify strategies to strengthen air cargo supply chain security, including developing a mechanism to collect cargo information at the earliest point practicable in the supply chain. The ACAS pilot was established as a result of this collaboration. As of March 2012, 14 million transactions have been processed through the ACAS pilot.

Frequently asked questions on the ACAS pilot are available on CBP.gov ( Air Cargo Advance Screening Pilot )


CBP Officers in Southern Arizona Seize 946 Pounds of Marijuana Hidden in Ceramic Tile Shipment

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

San Luis, Ariz. – A Mexican national was arrested Friday morning for attempting to smuggle $472,000 worth of marijuana into the United States.

San Luis Customs and Border Protection officers referred 43-year-old Ramiro Ramirez-Aguirre of San Luis, Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico, for additional inspection of the tractor trailer he was driving, which contained a load of ceramic tiles. After a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs in one of the boxes of tile; officers located nearly 945 pounds of marijuana.

The drugs and tractor-trailer were seized. Ramirez was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Individuals arrested may be charged by complaint, the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Customs and Border Protection tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. Their mission also includes carrying out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, enforcing immigration and trade laws, and protecting the nation's food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.

All CBP assets in Arizona were realigned under a unified command structure in February 2011. Joint Field Command – Arizona unifies the Tucson and Yuma Border Patrol Sectors and Air Branches, as well as the Tucson Field Office, to enhance border security, commercial enforcement and trade facilitation missions to meet Arizona’s unique challenges. Follow us on Twitter @CBPArizona or visit http://www.cbp.gov/Arizona for more information.


FTC Videos Remind Consumers to Check AnnualCreditReport.com

Federal Trade Commission  / http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/10/freecredit.shtm

As consumers turn back their clocks, it’s a good time to check their free annual credit report

Consumers shopping for a car, looking for a job or just getting their financial house in order should check their free annual credit reports.  The FTC is offering new videos, in English and Spanish, explaining why, and advising them what to do if a report contains inaccurate information.

During the fall, when people turn back their clocks at the end of daylight savings time, it’s a good time to order a free credit report from one of the three national consumer reporting companies at AnnualCreditReport.com or 1-877-322-8228.

Annualcreditreport.com is the only authorized source for consumers to access their credit reports online for free.  For more information, in English and Spanish, read the FTC’s Free Annual Credit Reports.

 

 
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