Brief Guide to the Customs and Border Protection

Brief Guide to the Customs and Border Protection

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Brief Guide to the Customs and Border Protection
What is the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency?
The United States Custom and Border Protection Agency is a federal law enforcement organization positioned within the United States Department of Homeland Security. 
The United States Customs and Border Protection Agency is responsible for regulating and facilitating international trade, enforcing regulations imposed by the federal government, collecting import duties and instituting various customs and immigration laws. 
Quick Facts Concerning the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency:
  • The United States Border Protection Agency, with more than 61,000 sworn federal agents and officers, is the largest law enforcement agency in the country. 
  • The United states Border Protection Agency was established in March of 2003; the organization’s preceding agencies were the Immigration inspectors and the United States Border Patrol, some aspects of the United States Department of Agriculture and several functions of the United States Customs Service.
  • The United States Customs and Border Protection Agency operates with an annual operating budget of approximately 12 billion dollars. 

  • The United States Customs and Border Protection Agency maintains status as a federal agency of the United States with a governmental legal personality. 


The United States Customs and Border Protection Agency is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and its agency executive is Alen Bersin.
Mission of the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency:
The primary mission of the United States Customs and Border Protection agency is to prevent terrorists, terrorist weapons and the influx of illegal drugs from entering the United States. While this is the primary mission of the agency, the Customs and Border Protection Agency is also responsible for apprehending individuals who attempt to enter the United States in an illegal fashion. All of these goals are intertwined with the organization’s broader mission: protect the United States’ population and the nation’s economic and agricultural interests from harmful smuggling, pests, diseases and an assortment of federal crimes. 
What Enforcement Powers does the Customs and Border Protection Agency Use?
The United States Customs and Border Protection Agency utilizes the authority to search outbound and inbound deliveries in its attempt to thwart the influx of contraband or illegal immigrants.
If the Customs and Border Protection Agency obtains illegal goods the organization may enact Section 592 of the Tariff Act of 1930—the most common customs penalty provision for imported goods. This legislation prescribes monetary fines against any individual who imports, attempts to import, aids or procures the importation of merchandise by means of false documents, statements, or omissions concerning material facts. 
In addition to monetary fines, the Customs and Border Protection Agency may institute criminal penalties if the individual presents false information to a customs officer. Section 542 of the same act provides a maximum punishment of up to two years in prison or a $5,000 fine or both, for each infraction involving an import or an attempted import. 

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