Events

US Customs and Border Protection: Insights for Global Travel and International Trade Panel Discussion & Networking Event

On Wednesday, April 26, 2023 members of the international business associations of Greater Philadelphia gathered in the beautiful art deco US Customs House at 200 Chestnut Street. The US Customs Service was established by the first US Congress in 1789, making it the oldest federal agency in the country. The functions of the Customs Service are to assess and collect duties and taxes on imported goods, to control carriers of imports and exports, and to combat smuggling and revenue fraud.

The US Custom House in Philadelphia is a product of the great federal building projects of the Depression era. Begun in December 1932, it opened on November 10, 1934, at a final cost of more than $3,500,000. Distinguished by richness of materials, by the quality of its design, and by a decorative program by a major local artist, the US Custom House is a fitting architectural monument to Philadelphia’s status as one of the nation’s largest ports.

Our VIP program started with a tour of the private museum housed in an area for authorized personnel only, and those who were pre-screened to attend the event. The small museum features unusual, interesting and some quite surprising contraband. US Customs and Border Protection Trade Operations managers were available to provide detailed explanations of the illicit objects on display. Eventually, guests were ushered upstairs to a conference room for an interactive Q&A panel discussion with US Customs and Border Protection Trade Operations professionals who provided valuable information for global travelers and businesses engaged in international trade.

The speakers, who are responsible for overseeing and handling international cargo in all environments, shared their insights on manifesting, transporting, targeting, complying, inspecting, brokering, entering, and facilitating maritime cargo, air cargo, and Express cargo (UPS, FedEx, etc.), including in-bond cargo from other ports. In addition, they touched on other traditional port of entry operations important to our local trade community such as bonded facilities, foreign trade zones (FTZ’s), export licensing, forced labor prohibitions, intellectual property rights (IPR), seized property and CBP penalties, vessel and crew requirements, supply chain security, and logistics management.

The Port of Philadelphia is the largest seaport in the nation for perishable cargoes. Speakers touched on their Agricultural missions, including how they play a critical role in securing those specialized supply chains and protect the American people from harmful pests and disease.

With more than 60,000 employees, US Customs and Border Protection is one of the world’s largest law enforcement organizations and is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the US while facilitating lawful international travel and trade. As the United States’ first unified border entity, US Customs and Border Protection takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection into one coordinated and supportive activity.

After the panel discussion everyone was invited to a networking reception with complimentary refreshments including hoagies from Campo’s Deli and cannolis and beverages from the Constitution Cannoli Café directly across the street from the US Customs House.

Special thanks to the French-American Chamber of Commerce for managing this event and inviting the international business associations of Greater Philadelphia to participate. The British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia was honored to collaborate. We recognize and thank our Corporate Member, Jonathan Grode, US Practice Director and Managing Partner with Green and Spiegel LLC for arranging this special event and leading the informative discussion.

Please click here for photos.

About U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP):        

With more than 60,000 employees, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP, is one of the world’s largest law enforcement organizations and is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. while facilitating lawful international travel and trade.

As the United States’ first unified border entity, CBP takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection into one coordinated and supportive activity.

Vision Statement
Enhancing the nation’s security through innovation, intelligence, collaboration and trust.

Mission Statement
Protect the American people, safeguard our borders, and enhance the nation’s economic prosperity.

Enduring Mission Priorities
Counter Terrorism – Anticipate, detect and disrupt the threat of terrorists, their weapons and actions to protect the people and economy of the United States.

Combat Transnational Crime – Detect, deter and disrupt transnational organized crime that threatens U.S. national and economic security interests at and beyond the border.

Secure the Border – Protect the Homeland through the air, land and maritime environments against illegal entry, illicit activity or other threats to uphold national sovereignty and promote national and economic security.

Facilitate Lawful Trade and Protect Revenue – Enable fair, competitive and compliant trade and enforce U.S. laws to ensure safety, prosperity and economic security for the American people.

Facilitate Lawful Travel – Enhance, enable and transform the travel experience by anticipating, detecting and intercepting threats prior to and at ports of entry.

About the U. S. Custom House, Philadelphia, PA

Building History

The U.S. Customs Service was established by the first U.S. Congress in 1789, making it the oldest federal agency in the country. The functions of the Customs Service are to assess and collect duties and taxes on imported goods, to control carriers of imports and exports, and to combat smuggling and revenue fraud.

The U.S. Custom House in Philadelphia is a product of the great federal building projects of the Depression era. Begun in December 1932, it opened on November 10, 1934, at a final cost of more than $3,500,000. Distinguished by richness of materials, by the quality of its design, and by a decorative program by a major local artist, the U.S. Custom House is a fitting architectural monument to Philadelphia’s status as one of the nation’s largest ports.

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