The United States Customs and Border Protection known as “CBP” is the nation’s largest federal law enforcement agency and one of the largest and most complex branches of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The CBP is responsible for regulating and facilitating international trade, ensuring that goods received in the U.S. are legitimate and the appropriate import duties are paid. The CBP enforces all U.S. regulations involving trade, customs and immigration.
The main mission of the CBP is to prevent terrorists and their weapons from entering the United States. However, the agency is also responsible for securing the border and apprehending individuals attempting to enter the United States illegally, including those with a criminal record as a result of illegal operations for drug flow and other contraband. The CBP is also responsible for protecting American businesses from intellectual property theft as well as protecting the United States against any agricultural or economic threats as a result of harmful pests and diseases. The CBP works together with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) with inspecting all food shipments considered high risk in order to prevent biological or agricultural terrorism.
The CBP workforce is made up of officers and agents, aircraft pilots, trade and agricultural specialists, canine enforcement officers and agents, as well as mission support staff. CBP Officers are assigned to over 300 ports of entry throughout the United States where they inspect and examine passengers and their cargo in support of their mission to protect the U.S. from illegal contraband and enforce U.S. laws and regulations. CBP Agents are assigned to protect and patrol the borders of Mexico and Canada, while the Air and Marine Interdiction Agents protect the U.S. from illegal entry of individuals, weapons, drugs and other contraband. The revenue staff of the CBP enforces and collects all appropriate customs fees and duties for all goods received in the United States. Through its Canine Enforcement Program, the CBP engages the largest army of working dogs of any other U.S. federal law enforcement agency. The CBP positions K-9 teams throughout the country at 73 commercial ports and 74 Border Patrol stations.