New Centralized Examination Stations Under Consideration for U.S. Virgin Islands: CBP Opens Applications



Earlier this week, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s St. Thomas Area Port relayed news about applications from two local entities seeking the establishment of Centralized Examination Stations (CES) within the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Christiansted-based Caribbean Cargo Holdings and St. Thomas Cargo from St. Thomas have formally initiated the application process to earn the status of CES operators. This move is in line with the provisions set out under Title 19, Parts 118 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.

CES facilities, operated privately, are venues where officers from CBP undertake detailed inspections of goods slated for import. CBP’s objective behind the inception of CES is to foster efficiency and improve service standards. It does so by pooling resources together and curtailing the commute necessary for carrying out cargo assessments across multiple locations within a designated Port of Entry.

Should CBP earmark specific goods for a detailed examination, the onus rests on the importer or the respective agent to organize a bonded transit of those goods to the CES. Furthermore, any costs arising from the transport and additional charges levied by the CES center are borne by the importer or the agent.

In a move to encourage transparent dialogue and information exchange, Assistant Area Port Director Marcia Murrell has extended an invitation to various parties involved in trade – be it importers, brokers, carriers, vessel agents, or even the general populace – to share insights or feedback pertaining to the companies in the application phase. To facilitate ease of communication, stakeholders can drop an email directly to Ms. Murrell at

For those who prefer traditional communication methods, formal letters can be penned and addressed to the Assistant Area Port Director. They can then be dispatched to P.O. Box 7190, St. Thomas, VI 00802.

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