CBP Consumer Products & Mass Merchandising Center of Excellence to Launch in June 2013

April 4, 2013 | The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will open its Consumer Products & Mass Merchandising (CPMM) Center of Excellence and Expertise on June 3, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia as part of its continuous efforts to align trade processing along industry sectors for maximum efficiency.

Toys, sporting goods and festive articles are among the products identified by CBP that will fall under the CPMM Center, in addition to cosmetics, luggage, household items, jewelry, musical instruments, furniture, optical and photography equipment, art and antiques, direct imports by general retailers, and more. As previously reported, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) was among a group of trade associations that worked with CBP to solicit industry input to help develop the CPMM Center.

Currently, four Centers of Excellence and Expertise are in operation across the United States, with six additional Centers (including the CPMM) slated to open by the end of 2013.  The Centers are intended as virtual “one-stop shops” specifically tailored to the needs of various industries, providing centralized processing for importers that volunteer to participate. They also serve as a resource for the entire trading community, with Center personnel answering questions, providing information and developing comprehensive trade facilitation strategies to address uniformity and compliance concerns.

Applications to participate in the CPMM Center may be submitted beginning on June 3, 2013; initial test participants will be selected no later than July 3. Interested participants may email the CBP with the subject line “Participating in CEE” and include the name of the CEE as well as the information outlined in the “Application Process” section of the Federal Register notice. For information about participating in any of the other Centers, consult the CBP website.

Launched as part of CBP’s expanded focus on “Trade in the 21st century” to align customs procedures with modern business, the Centers are expected to aid CBP in increasing uniformity of practices across ports of entry; facilitate the timely resolution of trade compliance issues nationwide; and strengthen agency knowledge on key industry practices.