USCIB Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee Meets in Chicago

USCIB held its Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee (CFTC) meeting at Google’s Chicago offices on May 16. 

The meeting, which was attended by USCIB members and staff, included a robust agenda. 

According to USCIB Senior Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin, members were updated on and discussed the work of the ICC Customs and Trade Facilitation Commission. Topics addressed included the ICC’s paper on transboundary waste for recovery, 21 CCF/ Customs Modernization, Forced Labor, the Green Trade Innovation and Incentives Forum scheduled for July 11th and related CBP Federal Register Notice call for comments as well as other priority CFT topics.  

The Committee also received updates on the work of both the World Trade Organization (WT0) and the World Customs Organization (WCO). Regarding the WTO, updates included work undertaken by the WTO Committee on Trade Facilitation, such as those pertaining to, for example, Indonesia Regulation 190 and humanitarian cargo / shipments. WCO matters included the upcoming Secretary General (SG) election, discussion on recent and upcoming meetings in the technical classification and valuation space. 

Following the meeting, Google hosted an outdoor, rooftop, networking reception.  

USCIB Conducts eATA Carnet Pilot With CBP at JFK Airport

USCIB collaborated with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Headquarters staff and leaders from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on a training, hosted on-site at JFK in New York on February 7, 2023. The goal of the training was to educate customs officers on the “eATA” Carnet System and process.

This training built on past trainings with JFK officers and advanced implementation of the eATA test at JFK. The “eATA” is the digital version of the ATA Carnet, currently a paper-based unified customs document used for the temporary movement of goods that are free of customs duties and taxes across the 79 countries and territories that are part of the ATA Carnet system. ATA Carnets are critical tools of trade facilitation for companies of all sizes, especially the small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), which can be used for multiple trips into countries that are party to the ATA System, providing, for example, reduced cost to Holders as well as greater predictability at each customs border.

The joint USCIB-CBP HQ hands-on training at JFK was in preparation for Holder (user) selection and formal launch of the eATA test at JFK, according to USCIB Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Declan Daly. The ICC World Chamber Federation pilot, which the U.S. is participating in, is supported by the World Customs Organization (WCO).

Belgium, China, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are also participating in the pilot.

According to Daly, this training included end-to-end processing of several eATA Carnets in a test environment. USCIB is working in close collaboration with CBP HQ, JFK and ICC WCF IT developers of the eATA Carnet on next steps.

“We hope to conduct further testing in the coming months at other port locations beyond JFK, as well as engage in dialogue with Canada in partnership with the CBP, Canada Customs and the Canadian NGA,” added Daly.

The eATA System is developed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) World Chambers Federation (WCF). USCIB manages and guarantees the ATA Carnet system in the United States. USCIB’s Daly is part of the ICC WCF’s eATA Project Team responsible for the development and rollout of the new digital ATA Carnet (eATA) system and has also recently been elected Vice Chair of the World ATA Carnet Council (WATAC).


USCIB Contributes to OECD Meetings on Countering Illicit Trade in E-Commerce

USCIB Senior Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin was in Paris earlier this month attending the second workshop of the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade E-Commerce Expert Group and the 11th Plenary of the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade (TF-CIT). Giblin attended these meetings as part of a Business at OECD (BIAC) private sector delegation, which also included experts affiliated with or participants from many USCIB member companies including, among others, Abbott, Amazon, BAT, eBay, HanesBrands, Lego, PMI and Walmart.

According to Giblin, a previous meeting of this expert group, held in December 2022, saw agreement that there was scope to develop future government and industry guidelines to curb illicit trade in counterfeits abusing e-commerce platforms. This second E-Commerce Experts Groupworkshop followed-up on that agreement whereby experts, including members of the private sector, provided their views on the proposed draft guideline text. The next meeting of the OECD E-Commerce Experts Group will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, followed by a meeting to be held in Washington, DC, later this year.

The E-Commerce Experts Working Group was followed by the OECD TF-CIT plenary meeting, where the Business at OECD (BIAC) delegation was led by Executive Director Hanni Rosenbaum, the BIAC Anti Illicit Trade Committee (AITEG), Chair, David M. Luna, and.  Policy Manager Jacobo Ramos Folch. This TFCIT meeting spanned 2-days and covered many critical topics, including: a look back at the Task Force over the past 10 years; Free Trade Zone Certification Scheme Roll-Out; and the above-mentioned E-Commerce project.

During the Task Force meeting, Luna, a former U.S. diplomat, highlighted the importance of strong public-private partnerships and emphasized the commitment of the business community to work with the OECD to counter the harms caused by illicit goods that have severe negative effects on global prosperity, trade, economic recovery, supply chains and public health and safety. 

“BIAC has worked in partnership with the OECD to advance important work in this area, including on illicit trade in the context of free trade zones, electronic commerce and high-risk sectors,” said Giblin.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Hanni Rosenbaum emphasized the importance of active public-private partnerships and BIAC’s continued commitment to support this important OECD policy work programme, especially as it transitions to the Trade Committee.

USCIB Advocates for the WTO Moratorium on Customs Duties at the OECD   

USCIB argued for a permanent extension of the WTO moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions during a March 9 meeting of the OECD Working Party of the Trade Committee.   

The OECD plans to publish a paper this fall to inform the debate at the WTO on extending the e-commerce moratorium set to expire at the next WTO ministerial conference (MC13) in February 2024. Speaking on behalf of Business at OECD (BIAC), Vice President for International Investment and Trade Policy Alice Slayton Clark lauded OECD efforts to provide evidence-based data, facts and insight relating to the direct and collateral costs of expiration and urged the OECD to address head-on the issues raised by opponents, including alternative revenue sources for countries struggling with budget shortfalls linked to the pandemic.   

The intervention condemned recent actions by the Government of Indonesia that violate the spirit of the moratorium, creating a domestic tariff classification for, and applying customs formalities, to digital downloads. “While Indonesia is not currently assessing duties on these downloads, the new administrative requirements are burdensome, disruptive to commerce, create a trade barrier and deter investment, with unbudgeted and onerous costs particularly for Indonesian small businesses,” Clark asserted.  

Clark urged the OECD to finalize and publish its paper as soon as possible to have the maximum influence on Indonesia and others at the WTO who remain non-aligned or unconvinced about the benefits of a permanent moratorium. She suggested the OECD share early findings from the paper at WTO e-commerce workshops and other discussions this spring. Finally, she encouraged all OECD members to take leadership positions at the WTO, particularly with non-aligned and opposing countries, to promote continuation of the moratorium.   

“Allowing the moratorium to expire would be a historic setback for the WTO, representing an unprecedented termination of a multilateral agreement in place nearly since the WTO’s inception – an agreement that has allowed the digital economy to take root and grow. It risks destabilizing the very fabric of a multilateral trading system already under intense strain,” she concluded.  


USCIB Fosters Relationship With Chinese Counterpart CCPIT/CCOIC 

Left to right: Declan Daly, Zhao Jianying, Peter Robinson

The head of the U.S. Representative Office of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), Mme. Zhao Jianying, visited USCIB’s New York offices on March 8 to discuss areas of mutual interest and to foster the close working relationship between CCPIT and USCIB, which now spans over three decades.  

 Zhao Jianying, who became head of the CCPIT Representative Office last year, met with USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson and COO Declan Daly. CCPIT is the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and its affiliate, the China Council of International Commerce (CCOIC) is USCIB’s counterpart National Committee in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) 

Additionally, CCPIT/CCOIC is USCIB’s Chinese counterpart in the ATA Carnet system. ATA Carnet is a custom document for temporary imports and is honored in over 80 customs countries and territories worldwide and can be used for multiple trips during a one-year period.   

According to Robinson, USCIB helped ICC bring CCPIT/CCOIC into the ATA Carnet system in the 1990’s and the two organizations have been working together since. 

Although the economic relationship between the United States and China has been tense for the past several years, USCIB’s working relationship with our Chinese counterpart CCPIT/CCOIC remains robust,” said Robinson. “We appreciated meeting Mme. Zhao and we look forward to fostering our relationship with her and the rest of her team.” 

USCIB Policy Team Covers APEC Meetings on Data, Customs and Chemicals

Megan Giblin and Declan Daly at APEC SOM 1

The United States is hosting this year’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the annual meetings on trade and economic policy among twenty-one APEC member economies, as well as stakeholders, such as the private sector. APEC economies account for nearly forty percent of the global population and nearly fifty percent of global trade. The theme for this year’s APEC, set by the United States as a host country, is “creating a resilient and sustainable future for all” and includes three overarching policy priorities—interconnected, innovation and inclusive.

The first set of meetings for 2023 were collectively known as SOM1 (the first of three “Senior Officials Meetings”) and will conclude with an APEC CEO Summit in San Francisco later this year. USCIB staff attended SOM1 in Palm Springs last month to discuss a wide array of issues including data flows and privacy, gender in customs, digitalization in customs and the sound management of chemicals.

According to USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner, SOM1 meetings on data flows and privacy mainly focused on the Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system, which was endorsed by APEC leaders in 2011. CBPR is a voluntary, enforceable privacy code of conduct for data transfers by information controllers in the Asia-Pacific region. Perhaps most important, according to Wanner, the CBPR system was conceived to preemptively discourage APEC economies from imposing unreasonable data flow restrictions on companies.

Wanner made an intervention on behalf of U.S. business during the SOM1 Data Privacy Subgroup meeting and the Digital Economy Steering Group meeting on February 19 and 20, respectively. Her intervention focused on the newly created Global CBPR Forum and the potential of this Forum to facilitate cross-border data flows to the economic and social benefit of APEC economies.

“USCIB has been a long-time supporter of APEC’s CBPR system precisely because we felt that it served as ground-breaking model to realize a regional approach to interoperability of privacy regulations,” said Wanner during her intervention.

“Thus, we welcomed with enthusiasm the proposal to ‘globalize’ the CBPR and create the new Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Forum. We understand the Forum will take a fresh look at the CBPR and update certification procedures for both company and country participation, as well as for Privacy Recognition for Processors. This is timely and appropriate. USCIB also appreciates that the Forum will regularly review data protection and privacy standards to ensure that the Global CBPR and PRP program requirements are aligned with industry best practices.”

Concurrently, USCIB Senior Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin attended Advancing Gender Equality in APEC Customs Administrations, a workshop focused on project led by New Zealand Customs. This workshop was well attended by the private sector and APEC customs administrations, including Ian Saunders who serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary – Western Hemisphere Department of Commerce and is the U.S. candidate for World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretary General and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Chair to the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP) Kristie McKinney, who serves as international relations specialist at CBP.

In addition, Giblin participated in a digitalization workshop on February 18—Implementing APEC’s Framework for Supply Chain Connectivity: Focus on Digitalization of End-to-End Supply Chains.  Giblin and USCIB Senior VP and COO Declan Daly spoke on a panel titled, The Government’s Role in Digitalization of Cross-Border Trade Procedures. The focus of the USCIB presentation was to provide a brief educational overview of the ATA Carnet, a critical tool of trade facilitation that benefits companies of all sizes, including SMEs as well as an update on the efforts to digitize ATA Carnet (known as the “eATA Carnet Project”). Daly spoke on the panel in his capacity as vice chair of the ICC World Chamber Federation (WCF) World ATA Carnet Council.

During his presentation, Daly discussed the eATA Carnet Project and the six economies that were selected for the pilot program—Belgium, China, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, the UK, and the United States. “APEC is an essential forum for the eATA Carnet Project, particularly because half of the economies in the project are APEC economies,” said Daly. “With the potential addition of thirteen economies that have expressed interest in joining the pilot, we’ll have even more APEC economies that would benefit from this modernized trade facilitation tool.”

This in-person only workshop was widely attended with 20 panelists, over 50 attendees and representation from many of the APEC economy customs administrations, including Chile, Indonesia, Peru, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Malaysia, the United States and Viet Nam.

The focus of the workshop was on end-to-end supply chain digitalization. Giblin and USCIB Members Michelle Welsh (Google), John Bescec (Microsoft) and Jerry Cook (HanesBrands) worked with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to provide thoughtful inputs as the workshop was being developed including advancing ATA Carnet and eATA (the digital form of the ATA Carnet) as a prime example of a global digitalization effort. This multilateral effort has both domestic and international aspects, and includes the private sector, economies and global institutions, such as the ICC WCF and WCO.

“From a USCIB perspective, our intent was to advance thoughtful, knowledgeable speakers from an array of sectors and provide positive examples of digitalization efforts,” said Giblin. “Various panels and panelists address priority, such as confidential business information and related protections. We are supportive of digitalization but recognize that more digitalization can lead to more data, data grabs and what is appropriate data to be shared with whom and under what legal mechanisms.”

USCIB members, including Cook, Carol Anderson (Microsoft) and Lisa Schulte (Target) were featured on various panels during the workshop.

The final panel of the day was an interactive wrap-up, which will aid in the APEC Subcommittee on Customs Procedures developing a related report. “We look forward to continuing to engage on this priority area for members,” said Giblin.

“We expect the next round of customs meetings and workshops to take place in late summer in Seattle,” she added. “USCIB is heavily engaged in APEC, including in the areas of customs and trade facilitation. We will remain engaged and will work closely with CBP, USTR and other partners in preparation for the meetings while engaging and supporting USCIB member views.”

Finally, USCIB Manager for Regulation and Trade Chris Olsen participated in meetings of the APEC Chemical Dialogue and the Green Chemistry and Sound Chemicals Management Workshop. One of the main objectives of the Chemical Dialogue was to provide APEC economy updates on regulatory improvements and action plans, while encouraging APEC endorsement and participation in Chemical Dialogue-led project proposals.

The Chemical Dialogue will also continue to explore interest in data exchange, particularly for regulatory cooperation and convergence by focusing on data communication within the supply chain through the digitalization of hazardous information.

“The Chemical Dialogue is one of APEC’s two industry dialogues, where the private sector is institutionally involved in every aspect of the Chemical Dialogue’s work. We look forward to even more industry engagement at SOM3 in Seattle later this year,” said Olsen.

USCIB Issues an ATA Carnet Advisory for the United Kingdom

New York, N.Y., March 14, 2023 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), the national guaranteeing and issuing association for the ATA Carnet in the United States, reminds Carnet Holders and Users regarding the customs requirements for haulers (freight forwarders) crossing into or out of the United Kingdom to file a GVMS declaration. Such requirement was first communicated at the time of Brexit and the requirements were updated in 2021 and 2022. Below are the requirements:

1.The Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) – Any haulers crossing into or out of the UK, via any port, will need to register for the service to get their goods through customs. An ATA Carnet number should be entered in the “Declaration Reference” field for the GVMS declaration. Goods Movement Reference (GMR) is also required for personal or company vehicles transporting Carnet goods in both directions, i.e., exiting the UK and returning to the UK. For freighted goods, GMR will be obtained by the freight forwarder. For holders driving the goods in personal or company vehicles, if they don’t have their own HMRC accounts to obtain GMR, they can contact the London Chamber of Commerce (LCCI) to obtain the GMR for their shipment using this link: please click here to submit a GMR request. They can also contact other Customs Agents in the market.

Personal Cars and Vans travelling to UK via Calais Euroshuttle will need to go to the Freight Terminal to get their Carnet stamped, as French Customs do not have Carnet processing facilities at the Passenger Terminal (GVM will be required to enter the freight terminal).

2. Harwich Port – as of January 1, 2022, haulers passing via the freight terminal will need to lodge a Customs Clearance Request before arriving at the port. Form C21 allows haulers that do not have access to the UK Customs System to lodge a request (note that shipments via Calais and Dunkerque do NOT need to lodge this request).

ATA Carnet, a custom document for temporary imports, is honored in over 80 customs countries and territories and can be used for multiple trips during a one-year period. The global ATA Carnet system is overseen and managed by the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). USCIB administers the Carnet system in the United States.

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and prudent regulation. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms with operations in every region of the world. As the U.S. affiliate of leading international business organizations and as the sole U.S. business group with standing in ECOSOC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. USCIB is also the National Guaranteeing and Issuing Association for ATA Carnets in the United States, having been appointed to do so by the Department of Treasury in 1969. More at

USCIB Attends WTO Public Forum, Meets with WTO Director General

Stacy Dieve (Cisco), Megan Funkhouser (ITIC), Alice Slayton Clark (USCIB)  with WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (center) with WTO Deputy Director-General Anabel González

USCIB was in Geneva for the WTO Public Forum last week, advocating with USCIB members and other industry associations for the launch of a new round of tariff eliminations under the Information Technology Agreement (ITA-3) and for permanent extension of moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions.

The meetings with WTO officials, including Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and WTO missions made progress in laying the ground work for member objectives, but also provided important insights into how USCIB and member companies can navigate the challenges ahead.

USCIB member companies also met with Representative Director of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Geneva Crispin Conroy to discuss the WTO landscape and USCIB/ICC international trade priorities. USCIB is working closely with ICC on WTO workstreams including with respect to the Joint Statement Initiative on Electronic Commerce, the e-commerce moratorium, the Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) and WTO reform.

USCIB and ICC remain strong advocates for a more formal role for business and civil society input at the WTO, especially as the forum becomes one more focused on policy discussion.

USCIB Files Comments on US Government Trade Strategy to Combat Forced Labor

USCIB filed public comments with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) August 5 in response to a request for input on a U.S. trade strategy to combat forced labor. According to the submission, a successful U.S. forced labor trade policy must assume a whole-of government approach that is multi-faceted, multilateral and risk-based in nature, focused on addressing the root causes of forced labor, including promoting rule of law in nations struggling to adopt and enforce internationally recognized labor standards.

With respect to trade policy tools, USCIB argued that USTR should leverage positive and accelerated, market incentives and market access for countries striving to tackle forced labor; provide capacity building and technical assistance to help governments struggling with compliance; and increase interagency collaboration and engagement with industry, allies, and multilateral institutions on promoting solutions to common supply chain problems. USCIB’s comments, which were built on past positions, statements, and work related to the critical topic of forced labor in supply chains, focused on both policy and technical issues, and supported the need for increased engagement with the trade community writ large.

“USCIB members condemn all forms of forced labor, and are deeply committed to preventing the use of forced labor in their supply chains,” said USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark. “In fact, when they trade and invest in the global marketplace, they deploy and export responsible business practices and promote social responsibility around the world.”

For the U.S. Government’s forced labor trade strategy to be effective it must be developed considering industry perspectives and inputs.

The government must engage the trade community in partnership to support trade, investment, supply chain due diligence and compliance. They must also provide clear guidance to companies, addressing any new rules implementing forced labor eradication strategies.

“USCIB and our member companies are ready, willing and able to provide general policy as well as technical customs and trade facilitation guidance to support the effort to develop a focused trade strategy to combat forced labor,” added Clark.

Through its membership affiliation with the International Organization of Employers (IOE), USCIB holds the formal role as the U.S. employer representative at the International Labor Organization (ILO), and has long served as a leading industry voice in promoting core labor standards, bolstering human rights, and eradicating child labor and forced labor in global supply chains.

USCIB Hosts US Focused Illicit-Trade in Counterfeits Dialogue at OECD Washington Center

Left to right: David Luna (USCIB & Business at OECD), Megan Giblin (USCIB), Piotr Stryszowski (OECD)

The USCIB Anti-Illicit Trade Committee (AITC), in coordination with the Business at OECD (BIAC) Anti-Illicit Trade Expert Group (AITEG) and the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade (TF-CIT), hosted an informal U.S. focused dialogue entitled, “The challenges of illicit trade in counterfeits for e-commerce: Towards a global, voluntary standard for online marketplaces to counter illicit trade in counterfeits” on July 26 at the OECD Washington Center. According to USCIB Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin, the dialogue was robust and the meeting was extremely well attended with representatives joining from both OECD member governments, the European Commission, private sector and several U.S. federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPRCenter), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

According to Giblin, to address the risk of illicit trade in counterfeit goods in e-commerce, the OECD TF-CIT, in partnership with AITEG, has been carrying out a comprehensive, multi-phase project to provide additional structure, evidence, analysis and policy recommendations to inform policy-making communities about the continued challenge of counterfeits for e-commerce. Phase 1 of the project, undertaken and completed in 2021, involved a series of joint expert webinars organized between the TF-CIT and the BIAC AITEG that informed the development of a Final Report: E-Commerce Challenges in Illicit Trade in Fakes, Governance Frameworks and Best Practices. Among its conclusions, the report recommends that future work (phases) be focused on “the establishment of industry-led best practices, solutions, including the development of voluntary codes of conduct to enable online-marketplaces and other industry intermediaries and sectors to distinguish themselves with standards of excellence.” Phase 2 of the project is set to begin in Fall 2022, during which the TF-CIT will continue to collect and analyse existing industry best practices to inform the possible future development of a voluntary Code of Conduct for Online Marketplaces to Counter Illicit Trade in Counterfeits.

USCIB members were joined by key U.S. public and private sector stakeholders to discuss this project, take stock of existing U.S. anti-counterfeiting best practices, and identify possible next steps.  The TF-CIT Secretariat provided an update on the key findings from the first phase of the project and an overview of how current OECD initiatives serve as a model for this work, especially the recent development of a Certification framework and Code of Conduct for the Free Trade Zones (FTZs). Participants reviewed existing U.S. and EU best practices to counter illicit trade in counterfeits, identified knowledge gaps required to further research, tasks, milestones and deadlines associated with this project.

Building on the success from our Phase I joint E-Commerce project on the illicit trade, our members are keen to continue to actively participate in this important OECD initiative by sharing, voluntarily,  information and market data insights, best practices, and other industry perspectives to shed greater light on the booming trade of counterfeits across global supply chains and online marketplaces, and that leads towards more effective law enforcement and judicial action against criminals and fraudsters,” said David M. Luna, chair of both USCIB AITC and BIAC AITEG.

“USCIB was pleased to co-host this important informal discussion with BIAC, the OECD TF-CIT, and the OECD Washington Centre,” Luna added. “USCIB is committed to working with BIAC and OECD TF-CIT on critical PPPs, including FTZ implementation, Phase 2 E-Commerce, among others. We believe the FTZ model may serve as a general model for work in other areas, including E-Commerce and illicit trade in counterfeits.”

For more information about the USCIB Anti-Illicit Trade Committee and/or the USCIB AIT Fund, please contact Megan Giblin at