Page 10: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q1 2012)

Training & Maritime Security

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Almost being bankrupt with an immediate need for revenue, the First Congress passed the Tariff Act of July 4, 1789 which was signed by President Washington on July 31, 1789, creating the Customs Administration and the nation?s Ports of Entry. This Þ rst agency of the federal government became an organization of Collectors regulate the Collection of the Duties imposed by law on the tonnage of ships or vessels, and on goods, wares and merchandises imported into the United States.For nearly 125 years, Customs funded virtually the entire government, and paid for the nation?s early growth and infrastructure. These collectors, under the direct authority of the Secretary of the Treasury, supervised the construction of over 300 lighthouses, became the Þ rst Coast Guard, the Þ rst Veteran?s Administration by assisting the nation?s war veterans, the Þ rst Public Health Service by providing for the well-being of merchant seamen, the Þ rst Bureau of Standards by standardizing the nations weights and measures, the Þ rst Immigration and Naturalization Service responding to immigrants seeking refuge in the United States, and even Drug interdictors by having Customs Mounted Inspectors apprehending liquor smugglers during Prohibition. Following the creation of separate agencies, Customs was left with its original mission, the collection of revenue and the proper function of our ports systems in supporting that function.The New Customs Today, Customs has a new mission. As published in USCustomsToday, ?And now, as we join the Department of Homeland Security, we face what may be our greatest challenge to date ... protecting our nation and its people from acts of terrorism within our own borders,? the mission of Customs has become under DHS, one of anti-terrorism. Therefore, how well does the new Customs or CBP perform its traditional role? There have been serious complaints of ineptitude in dealing with imports and exports, in-bonds, transshipments, and trans-carriage issues involving primarily the importation of goods into the United States. Is the basic training now provided to our Customs and Border Protection ofÞ cers at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) adequate for today?s global supply chain? To Þ nd out I evaluated the training syllabus to see what educational areas of study and practice are covered in the program, how many hours are devoted to those areas, and what percent of the total training hours are devoted to certain areas in which one would expect a Customs of Þ cial to have expertise. Access to and a Broad Description of the 2005 Syllabus A retired CBP Supervisor told this writer that many other retiredand current CBP of Þ cers are concerned about the shift of training away from ports and trade-related matters. Their concern is based on the natural link between historical Customs training connected to the collection of tariffs and duties, the control and knowledge of actual contents of in- bond shipments, knowledge and control of cargo manipulation within transshipment and trans-carriage shipments and anti- terrorism since shipping containers are perfect hosts for weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, I obtained a 2005 CBP training syllabus, the one reportedly in use today to review. Insiders also revealed that the training re ß ected in this syllabus is totally different from previous training Customs ofÞ cials had in trade matters, such as the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), vessel and container inspection techniques, and historic Customs matters like duties and tariffs that need to be properly applied to products imported into the United States. Today, the apparent focus is not on these areas but, instead, on ?people? to include air passengers, luggage, border crossers, crewmembers, etc. Training Areas The training program in the 2005 syllabus for CBP of Þ cers is14 40-hour weeks, a total of 560 hours. However, actual training appears to be 526 hours of instruction in classroom subjects, lab work, physical training, and hands-on applications of CBP functions like immigration matters, legal, inspection techniques and many more areas. I examined the amount of training in the following subject matters in relation to the total hours of training:Insights%\'U-LP*LHUPDQVNL 7UDGH6HFXULW\ 7UDLQLQJKHDGOLQH&%3·VQHZUROH V  $UHWKH\DGHTXDWHO\SUHSDUHGIRUDQ\PLVVLRQDQ\PRUH" :KHUH'LG&XVWRPV*R"10 I Maritime Professional I1Q 2012

Maritime Logistics Professional

Maritime Logistics Professional magazine is published six times annually.