Reductions Needed in the Number of Customs Regions and Districts:

Organizational Alternatives

FPCD-78-74: Published: Oct 10, 1978. Publicly Released: Oct 10, 1978.

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The U.S. Customs Service was created by the Congress in 1789 to collect duties on imports. Over the years it has been given additional responsibilities that include the control of: terrorism, international trafficking in controlled substances, arms, currency, and threats to public health. Customs has approximately 11,500 employees assigned to over 300 offices in the United States and other employees at overseas locations. These offices are linked through four organizational levels or tiers, a basic organizational arrangement which was established in a major reorganization in 1965 and 1966.

Since the 1965-1966 reorganization, there have been numerous organizational studies that have questioned the appropriateness of the 9-region, 45-district configuration. To date, however, no reductions have been made. Studies have indicated that reduction of 6 regions and 30 districts would cut Customs' administrative overhead, maintain better balance of workload and personnel among field offices, improve operational efficiency and coordination, and provide more consistent application of laws and regulations. (RRS)

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