SITC plays a major role in interdicting smuggled agricultural products before and after they reach US markets. SITC's work is successfully accomplished through numerous market surveys, analysis of trends and the use of various intelligence tools and data systems. SITC offices and analysts are experts in developing commercial targeting information, examining trends in international trade, identifying contraband in commerce, and at the consumer level. SITC staff also works close with Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Ports of Entry to interdict smuggled products.
In the marketplace, SITC officers conduct inspection surveys and intense trade compliance activities, looking to uncover prohibited or regulated items. This work may lead to trace backs to the Port of Entry in order to identify the distributor. Once a smuggling pathway is identified, it is shut down often resulting in civil and/or criminal prosecution, and recalls to safeguard American agriculture. The market place for SITC encompasses major distribution centers, flea markets, animal/plant and insect trade shows, large and small chain stores, roadside vendors and your neighborhood corner store. Lastly, the program has influenced changes in federal regulations in its efforts to regulate trade while promoting outreach and education to the public.
The SITC staff works closely with other federal, state and local agencies in order to accomplish the program mission. SITC Officers work with the State Plant Health Directors to aid in the identification of Hot Zones. Through partnerships with other agencies, SITC has provided other Federal (CBP, OIG, IES, ICE, FSIS, FDA, etc) and State officials (state agriculture agencies) with information leading to seizures, the stop sell of products, criminal prosecutions and administrative violations.
While the SITC initiatives are often reactive, SITC takes many steps to be proactive which ultimately results in less cost to the American public for eradication programs. SITC Officers monitor increased threats with increased vigilance to monitor potential high risk smuggling pathways. The SITC staff works closely with liaison groups and industry to identify and address potential smugglers and various trade compliance issues. SITC Officers are flexible enough to be responsive to a wide breadth of agricultural threats, issues and challenges.