(Miami, Florida – January 28, 2013) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar recently announced the expansion of the Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE), creating six new centers throughout the United States in 2013. PortMiami has been designated the CEE for Agriculture and Prepared Products. "The Centers for Excellence and Expertise enable CBP to provide tailored support to unique trading environments," said the Deputy Commissioner. "This service in turn allows for increased business processing efficiencies which will ultimately speed the facilitation of cross border commerce."
The selection of PortMiami as a CEE highlights the inherent advantages in the Port's location, being the closest East Coast port to producers of winter fruits and vegetables in Central and South America. The announcement by CBP helps solidify PortMiami’s role as the natural gateway for perishables and highlights the bilingual expertise of CBP experts here in Miami. Says Port Director Bill Johnson, "Miami truly is a natural entry point for perishables, and it is our goal to become shippers' preferred entry point to the Southeast and U.S. East Coast. This designation will help carry the Port's 'Perishables Gateway of the Americas' message to an international audience."
The breakdown of Centers to be established in 2013 is as follows:
- Agriculture & Prepared Products: Miami
- Apparel, Footwear and Textiles: San Francisco, CA
- Base Metals: Chicago, IL
- Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising: Atlanta, GA
- Industrial and Manufacturing Materials: Buffalo, NY
- Machinery: Laredo, TX
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez notes that, "Being recognized around the world as a CEE is a true testament to PortMiami's efficiency, professionalism, and expertise in the world of cargo trade. The County is honored to add this CEE designation to the Port’s ever-expanding list of awards and recognitions." County Commission Chairwoman Rebecca Sosa agrees, "PortMiami has an undeniable ability to move goods on and off the Port in an efficient manner. The CEE designation highlights the Port as a perishables gateway and gives the cargo side of the business some much-deserved attention."
These virtual centers will provide one-stop processing to lower the trade’s cost of business, provide greater consistency and predictability and enhance CBP enforcement efforts. The Centers represent CBP’s expanded focus on “Trade in the 21st Century,” transforming customs procedures to align with modern business. The CEEs will also serve as resources to the broader trade community and to CBP’s U.S. government partners. The current Centers are Electronics in Long Beach; Pharmaceuticals, Health & Chemicals in New York City; Automotive & Aerospace in Detroit; and Petroleum, Natural Gas & Minerals in Houston.
PortMiami is among America's busiest ports and recognized across the globe with the dual distinction of being the Cruise Capital of the World and the Cargo Gateway of the Americas. PortMiami contributes more than $18 billion annually to the South Florida economy and helps provide direct and indirect employment for more than 180,000.