Inthe world the customs and border protection, departments in variouscountries are critical to ensuring stability in a country. The customand border protection bodies are responsible for the regulation ofinternational trade in addition to making it the participants. Thebodies are charged with collection of all relevant import duties.Additionally, the bodies are required to enforce the various tradepolicies as passed b y the government. This includes the policiesregarding immigration, trade and customs.

InUnited States the Custom and border protection unit is the among thelargest law enforcement bodies in the county. The body isheadquartered in Washington D.C.1It has more than 45 000 workforce that has been sworn as federalagents while others as officers.2The body is charged with prevention of filtration of weaponry byterrorist aimed at carrying out terrorist activities. Additionally,it is tasked with the apprehension of individuals that illegally tryto get into the United States. The other key responsibility is thestemming of the flow of drug networks and cartels.3The body is charged with controlling movement of people by ensuringthat necessary checks are done to ensure that drugs are nottrafficked in the county. Furthermore, the body is charged with theprotection of the economic interest of the American businesses thebody is supposed to ensure that the country maintains its competitiveadvantage on the international front by getting all the relevantinformation on the various competitors. Furthermore, the body ischarged with preventing the entry of pest and disease that wouldcause suffering to the people of the United States.4


Tobegin with the general overview of the CBP unit indicates that thetotal workforce stands at about 58000 people.5The officers comprise of specialists in various fields namelyaircraft pilots, agricultural specialist, international tradespecialist, staff to support the mission and various agents such ascanine enforcement police officers. The officers inspect thepassengers at points of transit across all airports and other borderpoint across the country.6They are over three hundred points of entry where the officers arestationed to ensure the full implementation of Cross borderProtection regulation.

Theagricultural specialists are tasked with the counteringagro-terrorism and managing potential pest and disease that mayaffect the countries agricultural productivity.7The body is also mandated to patrol the country’s borders withMexico and Canada. The officers in the maritime and air wing aretasked with ensuring that illegal weapons and items are notinfiltrated into the united stated by either air or water.

Additionally,the officers are tasked with collection of duties and taxes asoutlined in the Customs and Border protection policy.8The body is tasked with enforcing trade tariffs as proposed time totime by the law. The employees audit and also act as internationaltrade experts. More importantly, the body is charged with theinspection of foreign cargo containers that being shipped in into thecountry.

Thebody has various major offices that form it s well outlinedcoordination and functionality. The offices include Air and Marineofficer, Office in charge of border patrol, Office in charge of fieldoperations and the congressional affairs office that is headed by anassistant commissioner. Additionally, they are offices mandated tohandle intelligence and liaison in investigations among other variousoffices. To ensure the country is fully protected the agency assess’all passengers that are flying into the country from various worldlocation to ensure that terrorism is stemmed.

Varioussystems are used to make the process success fully namely theAdvanced passenger Information system (APIS). A system has also beenput in place to check n visiting student from other world countries.Through undertaking such systems the body is able to successfullycombat terrorist attacks in addition to infiltration of harmful itemsin the country’s economy. The agency also works with partnercountry to easily identify container that could pose problems to theteam. The containers are pre identified and thoroughly screened onarrival to ensure the country interest are held .The threat posingcontainers are screened properly or event sent back to the county’sof origin to ensure the security of a country is not put at risk. TheCustom and Border Protection unit has also put in place mechanisms tohandle goods and people movement from the neighboring countries.Plans have been put in place to have all the vehicles transiting intothe country to be thoroughly checked at the border point. Thisensures the country’ security is not put at stake at any singletime.


Variousenforcement powers have been vested in the body by the variouslegislative acts in the country. The body has been mandated to screenall out. The body is empowered by the law to seize and forfeit allillegal materials recognized. This includes but not limited tosmuggled goods, contrabands, and plastic explosives.9The plastic explosives are controlled since they lack the detectioncomponent. Electronic goods being imported to US are supposed to haveproper documentation and are included in the ammunition list ofUnited States. Advanced mechanism snare used to identify cargo thatpose a security challenge to the country. The CBP works in tandemwith the Department of State and the Defense to control salesinvolving military equipment to ensure it lands in the right hands.This prevents the indirect arming of the terrorist through theirsupporting countries. Through such strategies the Custom and Borderprotection unit is able to control able to o contain the countriessecurity. The items that may seized by the unit and forfeiture aredue to the following reasons

First,prohibited and restricted goods in law are seized on either export orimport [point as outlined in the law. Additionally, items that aremissing the relevant documentation including the federal license areforfeited.10Furthermore, items that have violated the packing laws and copy rightlaws are forfeited by the authorities. Additionally, merchandise thatis labeled or marked intentionally and repetitively against thecountries regulations are seized by the authorities. Moreover,imports and exports that exceed the set limit quantitatively by thestate are seized by the authorities. Such cargo may be in violationof the of the quota system set by the government.

Theviolation of the laws guiding the Custom and Border Protection Unitis punishable through civil penalties as outlined in the law.11Monetary penalties are imposed on culpable parties depending on thelevel of violation. The punishable violations include fraud, grossnegligence and negligence. Fraud as stipulated in section 592 in thetariff act is punishable by the maximum amount an individual wantedto defraud the state.12Gross negligence that refers to deliberate errors to make omissionswhile declaring items imported or exported is punishable throughimposition of a fine equivalent to four times the actual intendedfraud to the state. I f the revenue was not meant for the state thecharge is equivalent to 40% of the total dutiable amount. Lastlynegligence that refers to failure to pay keen attention to details ofgoods either being exported or imported is punishable by charging theculprit twice the domestic value of the good in the country. Thepenalty is not allowed to exceed 20% of dutiable amount in thecountry.13Penalties are also imposed on persons that give false informationdeclaration on online platforms. Additionally, provision of falseinformation to the state is punishable by the custom authorities. Thefalse information may be given for not exercising reasonable carewhile handling information hence transmission of false information tothe concerned parties. Additionally, the customs agriculturalspecialist ate also allowed imposing penalties on individualsperceived to have broken the law.

Criminalpenalties are also sanctioned under the customs law for thosepresenting false information the law provides for the imprisonmentfor two years in addition to a fine. This cover intended andattempted importation of restricted goods into the country.14This enables the Cross Border Protection officers to guard thecountry against malicious persons that may want to bring may whelminto the country through importation of explosives that may be usedto destroy peace and order. Moreover, the exportation of goods suchas weaponry that is restricted and guide guided by the officersenables the country to control the arming of enemies indirectly forsimple financial gain. This is well informed by the fact that someindividuals are willing to arm the enemies provided they get amonetary gain to their benefit. This is disheartening given theserious security situation around the world.


Thecustom service has been in operation since the revolutionary Americanwar. Duties were to be collected to assist the assist in thereconstruction. The funds were meant to be government funds to beused in development of infrastructure and social amenities.15Additionally, the custom officers would help control illegalimmigrants in the country. As a result, of the collection of theduties the government was able to build various buildings andinfrastructure that helped develop the country. Various roads at thetime were constructed that improved the standards of living for thecitizenry. Additionally, railway was constructed. Naval and militaryacademies that assist in maintaining law and order were alsoestablished by the state. This lead to government, enforcing the dutycollection given the massive projects it was being able to undertakein the country.

Theoffice was also mandated with vetting of immigrants into the countrysince after the American civil war some states started passinglegislation for accepting and rejecting immigrants into theirterritories. This called for a uniform body to be formed to guide theissue of immigrants into the country. The uncoordinated immigrationlaws meant that the country was exposed to malicious person thatwould target state with the weakest immigration law and set structureto gain entrance into the country. Additionally, the congress had tocome in to control the immigration in order to protect jobs and wagesfor the American citizens.16This prompted it to pass various legislations that would control thelabor movement in the country. As a response to the issues theimmigration inspectors were stationed at various entry points in thecountry to control people movement due to economic reasons.Immigrants were also charged a fee per head to help in raisingrevenue. Limited number of visas was also to be issued to immigrantsto control population growth. This would enable protection of theAmerican job and also maintain high wage rates due to a slightlylower labor supply.

However,with time, the CBP unit has continually being upgraded by the statemachinery given the good work it had been doing to the government andAmerican citizens. To that reason in March 2003 the unit wasintegrated in to United States Department of Homeland Security.17The officers from the animal protection unit were consolidated withthe officer in charge of plants unit. This was to bring morecoordination in the matters relating to the state. Additionally, theBorder Patrol unit was joined to customs offices to enhancecoordination, the immigration inspectors were not left behind in thetransformation aimed at the system. The transformation was wellcoordinated by Basham given his wealth of experience as a manager inlaw enforcement.18With the transformation the body was allowed to make arrest and alsoissue warrants of arrest to given individuals in a country. Theywould additionally, help identify high risk individuals culpable ofdrug trafficking, human trafficking and pornography to children inthe state. They were also mandated to check on money launderingweapons trafficking in the country. Additionally, individualsimporting prohibited good into the country were to be held culpableand prosecuted by the unit. This would increase the states security

Asa measure to raise the bar for the unit, the trainees were to undergothorough training on various American laws. Key among them iscontraband detection that involves recognizing goods that are nogenuine in make. Additionally, law on immigration and naturalizationare well taught to ensure that the officers are able to handle thecases competently with a view of enhancing the states’ security.The security is improved since suspicious individuals are notlicensed to get citizenship in a country. Additionally, the officersare well trained on the laws touching on imports and export to ensurethat they are able to ensure the government gets maximum revenue fromthe duties.19Crime investigation techniques are also trained to enhance theirefficiency. Defensive tactics, arrest techniques are also taught tothe officers to ensure that they ably dispose their duties. The othercritical area they are trained on is the examination of cargo, andother items namely bags and merchandise. Entry procedures are alsotaught coupled with passenger processing at the entry points. Thisenables the officers to efficiently handle the incoming and outgoingpassengers in a country. Baton Techniques are also taught to enablethe officers the efficiency they require while carrying outoperations. This improves their speed and proper handling of items inthe course of their work. Those officer set for foreign duties aregiven foreign languages classes to enable the have efficientcommunication that is effective.

Theofficers after training begin their work at various entry pointsdepending on the phase of application available.20However, with time the officers may shift to their preferreddepartments once the opportunity arises. For the officers that are tobe posted on the southern border it is mandatory to have Spanishfluency to qualify.21Additionally, the candidates must undergo examination on drugs andmedical examination. Polygraph examination and physical examinationtest are required. Video based examinations are also undergone toenhance the suitability. In the pre appointment phase a structuredinterview is organized by the recruiting body to verify about theindividual’s character.


    1. CBP Officers

Theseare a federal law enforcement body that are empowered by the law toperform and exercise the authority stipulated in the law as well asin the regulations set out by the Department of Homeland Security.This includes activities such as conducting searches, making arrests,bearing firearms, making seizures and serving on any order orwarrant.22The CBP officers are fully mandated and authorized by the law whichenforces their powers, whether they are off-duty or on-duty.

TheCBP officers are endowed with the responsibility of defending theUnited States from the intrusion of terrorists.23In their mandate, they ought to identify individuals who are highrisks to the country’s security stop and prevent criminalactivities such as child pornography, drug trafficking, moneylaundering and trafficking of weapons and also prohibit thesmuggling of goods that are prohibited, illegal entry of people intothe country as well as all other duties that pertain to immigrationsand customs policy violation.24

    1. Agriculture Specialist

Theseare uniformed specialists that are posted at the United State’sinternational entry ports such as seaports, airports and landborders.25They are also stationed in other nations that are authorized in abilateral agreement to handle pre-clearance of commodities exportedto the United States. The officers are authorized to carry out anyinspection activities such as on luggage so as to seize contaminatedor prohibited commodities. The officers also act as consultants inintelligence, examination, inspection and law enforcement-relatedactivities.26They employ the federal law and other legislation in ensuring thatthere are no diseases, harmful pest or latent agro-terrorism frominfiltrating into the country through the entry points.

    1. Import Specialists

Theseare specialists who are mandated with the task of interacting withexporters and importers on issues pertaining to the making ofdecisions about instability of merchandise, commodities andmanufactured products.27They work together with legal professionals and law enforcementofficers. They are responsible for the appraisal and classificationof all merchandise imported for commercial purposes. They enforce thelaw by determining the legality of commodities, promoting fair tradeand protecting intellectual rights.28

    1. Border Patrol

Thisis a body that is made up of agents who enforce federal law byactively patrolling the borders in a bid to prevent the illegal entryor exit of people. They detect and prevent the illegal infiltrationof aliens into the United States, and also prevent smuggling.29They also arrest and charge those people who are found to beviolating customs and immigrations policies and regulations.

    1. Air and Marine Interdiction Agents

Thislaw enforcement organization is considered as the largest of its kindin the world. It operates by coordinating the activities of the airand marine to protect the American citizens and the country’sinfrastructure from acts of terrorism, illegal drugs, and unlawfulinhabitation of aliens among others like contraband.30


Bullock,Jane, George Haddow, and Coppola Damon. Introductionto Homeland Security: Principles Of All-Hazards Risk Management.1st ed. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2012.,.`Know Before You Go | U.S. Customs And Border Protection`. Lastmodified 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.

Forest,James. HomelandSecurity: Protecting America`s Targets.1st ed. Westport, Conn: Praeger Security International, 2014.,.`International Trade: U.S. Customs And Border Protection FacesChallenges In Addressing Illegal Textile Transshipment`. Lastmodified 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.

Hirschhorn,Eric. TheExport Control And Embargo Handbook.1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Sherman,Michael, John Brew, and Steven Jarreau. U.S.Customs: A Practitioner`s Guide To Principles, Processes, AndProcedures.1st ed. Chicago: American Bar Association, Section of InternationalLaw and Practice, 2009.

Thomas,Johnson, and Donna Bade. `Export/Import Procedures AndDocumentation`. Public.Eblib.Com.Last modified 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.

Yoku,Shaw-Taylor. Immigration,Assimilation, And Border Security.Lanham: Government Institutes, 2011.

1 James Forest, Homeland Security: Protecting America`s Targets, 1st ed. (Westport, Conn: Praeger Security International, 2014).

2 Shaw-Taylor Yoku, Immigration, Assimilation, and Border Security (Lanham: Government Institutes, 2011).

3 Eric Hirschhorn, The Export Control And Embargo Handbook, 1st ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).

4 Hirschhorn, 28

5 Yoku, 14

6 Michael Sherman, John Brew and Steven Jarreau, U.S. Customs: A Practitioner`s Guide to Principles, Processes, and Procedures, 1st ed. (Chicago: American Bar Association, Section of International Law and Practice, 2009), 41

7 Sherman, et al., 44

8 Sherman, et al., 47

9, `International Trade: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Faces Challenges in Addressing Illegal Textile Transshipment`, last modified 2014, accessed August 12, 2014,


11, `Know before You Go | U.S. Customs and Border Protection`, last modified 2014, accessed August 12, 2014,

12 Yoku, 67


14 Johnson Thomas and Donna Bade, `Export/Import Procedures and Documentation`, Public.Eblib.Com, last modified 2014, accessed August 12, 2014,

15 Sherman, et al., 88

16 Forest, 52

17 Forest, 56

18 Yoku, 76

19 Hirschhorn, 68

20 Hirschhorn, 74


22 Hirschhorn, 55

23 Hirschhorn, 56

24 Hirschhorn, 55

25 Sherman, et al., 98

26 Sherman, et al., 98

27 Johnson Thomas and Donna Bade, `Export/Import Procedures and Documentation`, Public.Eblib.Com, last modified 2014, accessed August 12, 2014,

28 Thomas and Bade

29 Yoku, 101

30 Jane Bullock, George Haddow and Coppola Damon, Introduction to Homeland Security: Principles Of All-Hazards Risk Management, 1st ed. (Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2012), 87