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About the Author

Ben Bidwell — Director of U.S. Customs

Ben joined C.H. Robinson in 2004 and became a Licensed Customs House Broker in 2007. Ben has consulted and resolved a wide range of Customs disputes for clients involving classification, country of origin, marking violations, seizures, and protests and for products ranging from hospitality goods, automobile tires, apparel and textiles, toys, and other consumer retail goods. Ben is director of U.S. Customs and is located in C.H. Robinson’s Corporate Headquarters.

5 Reasons to Look Forward to ACE Cargo Release

Tblog_AirCargo“Now that we are able to clear via eSTBs, our paperwork turnaround time is amazingly fast.”

“We can clear more shipments, earlier.”

These are just a few of the things C.H. Robinson employees are saying about piloting U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) new Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) software. While it’s taken CBP nearly a decade to develop the trade software, ACE is meant to streamline trade facilitation and support President Obama’s executive order mandating that all trade be facilitated electronically via a single platform by December 31, 2016. But what will this mean for your customs filings? » Read More

A Big Week for U.S. Trade Legislation: Updates on TPA & GSP

Gov UpdateSome of us in the trade community have felt the U.S. trade agenda had been neglected for the last five to eight years by a Congress that is focused more on domestic issues. While it sometimes wasn’t pretty, over the last 10 days, trade was suddenly the only topic in Congress and it resulted in some significant legislation. While the final version is still being published and we are continuing to review it, here is a summary of what has passed and the alphabet soup of acronyms:

» Read More

Government Affairs Update: Customs Policy

Government Affairs

I recently attended the annual Government Affairs Conference with the National Customs Broker and Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFFA) in Washington D.C. If you’re like me, Washington D.C. and regulatory policy can seem very distant when you’re in the middle of the country, so it’s always helpful to meet regulators and elected officials face to face. For me, the highlight of the trip was a speech from Mr. Allen Gina, Assistant Commissioner for the Office of International Trade in Customs and Border Protection (CBP). We attended the Customs Committee meeting with CBP hosted by the NCBFFA, and my group visited with staff in the House of Representatives and Senate. » Read More