U.S. Customs and Border Protection

  1. Homeland Security Department agency charged with preventing entry of terrorists and terrorist weapons, collecting import revenues, and enforcing customs and related laws. Among its major tasks are maintaining border security; assessing and collecting customs duties, excise taxes, fees, and penalties due on imported merchandise; interdicting and seizing contraband, including narcotics and illegal drugs; processing persons, carriers, cargo, and mail into and out of the United States; administering certain navigation laws; detecting and apprehending persons engaged in fraudulent practices designed to circumvent customs and related laws; and assisting other government agencies in enforcing various export-control, trade, and criminal statutes and regulations.