U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Nick Annan and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Atlanta Field Office Director Robert M. Del Toro signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the agencies Wednesday to implement the Atlanta Trade Enforcement Coordination Center (TECC).
The signing of this memorandum in Atlanta establishes the eleventh TECC around the country, which exist to promote interagency collaboration, information sharing, and more efficient communication in an effort to enhance the trade enforcement mission of the member agencies.
The TECCs are established at the recommendation of a Commercial Fraud Working Group Field Evaluation and Implementation Plan which was issued by HSI and CBP Headquarters in January 2012.
One of the recommendations of this plan was to establish integrated commercial fraud units at the field level. Many of the recommendations in the plan were met by integrating CBP and HSI commercial fraud units into the TECCs, which are co-located at ports of entry.
The Atlanta TECC will identify, inspect and investigate foreign trade suspected of being fraudulently imported through Atlanta.
“This agreement further strengthens the existing partnership between HSI and CBP in Atlanta,” said Atlanta SAC Nick Annan.
“Trade fraud has significant implications for the U.S. economy and consumers, and violators frequently pose potential health and safety threats to the public.”
“HSI is committed to fighting these fraudulent actors alongside our government partners.”
Acting Atlanta DFO Del Toro emphasized the mission, role and priorities of the TECC as set forth in the MOA by stating, “the signing of this MOA better positions CBP and HSI to identify and stop illegally and fraudulently shipped goods destined to be introduced into the commerce of the United States.”
“Member agencies will initiate joint investigations aimed at stopping unfair trade practices that threaten the United States economy, restrict the competitiveness of the United States industries and place the health and safety of the American people at risk.”
The TECC agreement provides for increased communication and information sharing about foreign imports and commercial fraud investigations.
It will help to establish better processes for combating trade fraud and create a united form for pursuing prosecutions.
To report trade fraud, visit e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System.