The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has named eight new industry members to sit on the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee, including two experts from the air cargo sector.
The 13th COAC convenes today in Washington for the first meeting of its new term.
COAC provides policy-making advice about commercial operations to the secretaries of DHS and Treasury, but primarily works with U.S. Customs and Border Protection within DHS.
DHS added Brandon Fried, executive director of the Airforwarders Association, and Elizabeth Shaver, director of cargo services at Airlines for America(A4A), to the 20-member federal advisory body. COAC membership traditionally has tilted toward importers, port authorities, and forwarders that manage land and sea shipments. The selection of Fried and Shaver reflects the priority DHS is placing on air cargo trade and security since the 2010 Yemen package bomb plot.
COAC has played a role overseeing the implementation of CBP's Air Cargo Advanced Screening pilot program under which express carriers, passenger airlines, freight forwarders and all-cargo airlines electronically submit key shipment information on inbound cargo well before departure to give CBP analysts the opportunity to run the data through risk-analysis software and order suspicious cargo held for inspection before loading on an aircraft at a foreign airport. CBP is also working closely with the Transportation Security Administration to harmonize ACAS and the Customs-Trade Partnership Program with TSA screening requirements for international cargo.
Fried and Shaver join holdover Carol Hallett, a former president of the Air Transport Association (now known as A4A), as experts with strong backgrounds in the air cargo business. Fried has worked for 25 years in air logistics and consulting. Shaver previously worked in cargo management and other capacities at Delta Air Lines.
The other new COAC members are:
- David Berry, a vice president at Swift Transportation, a large trucking company based in Phoenix.
- Scott Boyer of Kraft Foods Group, Madison, Wis.
- William Earle, president of the National Association of Beverage Importers, Washington.
- Suzanne Hoeger, director of global trade compliance and policy at Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Ill.
- Vincent Iacopella, manager director of the Los Angeles office of third-party logistics provider The Janel Group.
- Julie Ann Parks, senior manager export/import operations at Raytheon Corp., Plano, Texas.
COAC members serve two years and can have their terms renewed once.
Incumbents from the last COAC are:
- Leman "Chip" Bowen, Jr., a regulatory compliance official for FedEx Trade Networks.
- Scott Childers, senior manager integrated trade management for Walt Disney Co.
- Mary Ann Comstock, northern border compliance manager at UPS Supply Chain Solutions.
- Jeffrey Coppersmith, president of Coppersmith Global Logistics and past president of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America.
- Matthew Fass, president of Maritime Products International Inc., a Newport News, Va. supplier of seafood products.
- William Ferguson, director of security for NYK Line (North America) Inc.
- Karen Kenney, chief operating officer for Liberty International, a forwarder in Pawtuckett, R.I.
- Kathleen Neal, a trade compliance official at Regal-Beloit Corp. in El Paso, Texas.
- James Phillips, a customs manager at General Motors Corp.
- Edward "Ted" Sherman, director of global trade services for Target Corp.
- David Vitale, chairman of the Urban Partnership Bank in Chicago.
Among the topics COAC is scheduled to consider this year are global supply chain security and facilitation, trade modernization and automation, air cargo security, potential changes to regulations governing customs brokers, expansion of C-TPAT and consolidation of trusted trader programs, import safety, enforcement of intellectual property rights and collection of antidumping/counterveiling duty payments. - Eric Kulisch