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Commercial customs app developed by CBP employee

Customs Mobile logo.

An international trade specialist at Customs and Border Protection has created a mobile-friendly website that provides key U.S. customs-related data in real time to importers and exporters.

The CustomsMobile.com site aims to help U.S. importers, foreign exporters and federal employees more easily access U.S. customs data, and help small companies work their way through a tangle of import regulations.

The site, which launched Oct. 27, is free to use, said Craig Briess, who founded the CustomsMobile company and developed the website.

He is a customs law attorney who has spent the past two years working for CBP as an international trade specialist. Although Briess is employed at CBP, CustomsMobile is a private endeavor and is not funded, approved or endorsed by the federal government, according to a statement released by the company.

When users search the CustomsMobile site, source data is fetched from the relevant federal server in real time, parsed and then presented in a mobile-friendly format. Briess said the site provides easy access to CBP's customs rulings, customs announcements, duty rates, regulations and port contact information.

CustomsMobile.com offers users a one-stop shop by making several tools available in a single mobile-oriented website, thereby solving the issue of having to navigate multiple government websites to access relevant information, the company said.

According to the company's statement, Briess came up with the idea for the website after having trouble finding the information he needed during trade legislation meetings.

"I needed to quickly research CBP's legal position on certain matters and then discovered that this vital information was extremely difficult to navigate on my cell phone," he said. "Considering I've used that system extensively throughout my career, it came as quite a shock."

He added that small businesses in particular often rely on customs attorneys or trade brokers and incur additional costs to wend their way through difficult, hard-to-find government regulations.

Posted by Mark Rockwell on Oct 27, 2014 at 11:17 AM


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