U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Trade Facilitation, Enforcement, and Security [March 22, 2013] [open pdf - 558KB]
"This report describes and analyzes import policy and CBP's [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] role in the U.S. import process. (The report does not cover CBP's role in the U.S. export control system.) The first section of the report describes the three overarching goals of U.S. import policy and the tension among them. Second, the report provides a legislative history of customs laws, followed by an overview of the U.S. import process as it operates today. Third, the import process and CBP's role in it are discussed. The final section highlights several policy issues that Congress may consider in its oversight role or as part of customs or trade legislation, including measures seeking to provide additional trade facilitation benefits to importers and others enrolled in 'trusted trader' programs, to improve enforcement of intellectual property and trade remedy laws, to strengthen cargo scanning practices, and/or to promote modernization of customs data systems, among other issues."
CRS Report for Congress, R43014