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OPERATIONAL UPDATES FROM CBP FOR 2021


US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued an update earlier this year outlining their plans for enhancements and changes to their operations in 2021. CBP is in charge of law enforcement (both for people crossing the border and for commercial items) at 300 ports of entry.

CBP - U.S Customs and Border Protection is the largest federal law enforcement department in the United States, responsible for securing the country's borders and enabling international travel and trade. The prevention of terrorists and their weapons from entering the United States is our top priority.

CBP enforces US trade rules and guarantees that commercial items entering and exiting US ports are legal. CBP is in charge of keeping trade flowing smoothly and encouraging economic growth in the country, as well as stopping dangerous items, intellectual property theft, and unfair/unethical trade practices.

Today, we'll look at what CBP and US importers might expect in 2021.

In Year 2020

  • CBP handled a total of 646,822 border interactions in 2020, including seizures and expulsions.
  • Commercial products worth $2.24 trillion were processed by CBP.
  • The Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) collected a total of $74.4 billion in duties.
  • CBP executed 466 customs audits, an increase of over 100, and collected $44.6 million as a result.
  • CBP executed a total of 73,708 trade seizures, up nearly 10,000 from the previous year.

Due to COVID-19

  • Due to duty deferment, an estimated $575 million in payments will be made under extended timeframes.
  • Almost 3000 separate importers asked for deadline extensions.

Notable Operational Changes:

The whole press release can be seen here, but there are a few items to keep in mind for US importers.

Executive Acts: actions taken by the Biden Administration in the areas of immigration and border security (pausing Border Wall System, enforcing proclamations related to entry.)

COVID-related commodities should be transported as soon as possible: Pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, and other medical equipment approved by the US government for pandemic response.


CBP has so far seized:

  • In 409 occurrences, about 177,500 FDA-prohibited COVID-19 test kits were used;
  • In 534 incidents, 16 million counterfeit face masks were found.
  • In 118 cases, 37,000 EPA-prohibited anti-virus lanyards were found;
  • In 224 cases, 38,000 FDA-prohibited chloroquine pills were used; and
  • In 105 incidents, 6,000 antibiotic medications, such as azithromycin, were used.

Employee Vaccinations at CBP: CBP strongly advises employees to receive the vaccine as soon as feasible in order to continue fulfilling the agency's duties safely. Encounters with law enforcement have increased by 6% since December 2020. CBP workforce will increase in tandem with the increase in interactions.



CBP's job is to make sure that trade laws are followed and that trade flows smoothly. CBP retains the right to undertake import reviews and audits even after the items have been released. What exactly does the agency do to accomplish this? According to the CBP, CBP uses a national trade enforcement program to achieve comprehensive, agile, and uniform enforcement. This program provides a framework for national collaboration inside CBP as well as with other government agencies and global partners.


It's critical to be informed on changes in US trade regulations and CBP activities if you want to succeed as an importer. It's also crucial to a customs broker's ability to stay updated and provide service to their clients. Importers can save time, money, and resources by working with the proper customs broker.


If you want to import in the U.S., feel free to contact us ISF-Entry, especially at any U.S port of entry. You can have us for Free Import Consulting.