In March, the Dennis J. Block Center for International Business Law (IBL) and the Customs and International Trade Bar Association hosted an IBL Roundtable Luncheon at Brooklyn Law School. IBL fellows, faculty, alumni, and practitioners enjoyed an inside perspective on recent developments at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency from Jeremy Baskin, Senior Adviser to the Executive Director, Regulations and Rulings, at the Office of International Trade (OIT).
Baskin has had a long career with Customs and Border Protection, serving as the Director of the Border Security and Trade Compliance Division, Regulations and Rulings, in the Office of International Trade, as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Commissioner for Regulations and Rulings, and as Senior Attorney in the Penalties Branch.
He spoke about current reform efforts at the OIT and the various motivations behind them. He identified three sources as major motivators behind the reform efforts: the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of Customs and Border Protection (COAC), the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), and internal reforms at the OIT.
Baskin also discussed specific examples of reform. He noted that the OIT is in the process of changing the inbond-entry form, clarifying that this is an area that had been identified as vulnerable to smugglers. The new reform is designed to ensure that there is an adequate monitor in place, requiring the reconciliation of inbound and outbound shipments to prevent loss of duties.
Baskin went on to explain that many statutes and procedures were drawn up before the widespread use of technology became the norm. As a result, he argued, there are areas where smarter electronic solutions can be implemented to improve efficiency, such as redesigning the administrative system used to manage the current mitigation scheme and creating centers of excellence and expertise that would bring together industry experts to create a more streamlined process.
The IBL Center’s mission is to contribute to the exploration of timely issues of interest to business organizations, regulators, policy makers, practitioners, jurists, scholars, and future lawyers in this important field. IBL Roundtables enrich the educational experience for fellows by exposing them to prominent leaders in the area of international business law.