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GGD-98-175, July 31, 1998 (31 pages). Customs Service Drug Interdiction: Internal Control Weaknesses and Other Concerns With Low-Risk Cargo Entry Programs. [Text] [PDF]

The Customs Service faces a major challenge to effectively carrying out its drug interdiction and trade enforcement missions while facilitating the flow of people and cargo into the United States. To assist in carrying out these seemingly contradictory activities, Customs recognized that processes were needed to identify low-risk cargo and facilitate its movement so that inspectors could focus on shipments at high risk for narcotics smuggling. Toward this end, Customs developed several low-risk, cargo entry programs designed to process certain cargo expeditiously and, at the same time, target for additional scrutiny those shipments considered to be at high risk for drug smuggling. This report describes Customs' low-risk, cargo entry programs in use at three ports on the Southwest border and discusses the results of GAO's evaluation of the internal controls over the Line Release Program and processes used to assess the risk of narcotics smuggling in other cargo entry programs.