Moving to increase supply chain visibility and more swiftly identify high-risk shipments, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the beginnings of a pilot program known as the Global Business Identifier (GBI) last week.
Undertaken with 13 partner government agencies, the concept behind GBI is a single business identifier solution to provide a boost to legitimate trade and insights into the supply chain. Volunteers from the trade community will provide CBP with entity identifier codes to allow more information on shippers, sellers, and manufacturer data – a potential replacement for the aging Manufacturer/Shipper Identification (MID) number currently used to track customers’ information. Unlike the GBI, the MID only provides importer names and addresses. Its numbers are not unique and provide little insight.
“The complexity of modern, global supply chains requires innovative solutions to increase transparency,” said AnnMarie Highsmith, executive assistant commissioner of the CBP Office of Trade. “Our hope for this pilot program is that it will give us a more complete picture of goods making their way into the U.S. so that we can focus enforcement efforts on high-risk shipments while ensuring the free flow of legal trade that supports our economy. With the GBI pilot, we expect improved data quality, industry cost and time savings, streamlined supply chain tracking, and increased protection from counterfeiting – wins for both the trade community and the U.S. government.”
Each industry volunteer in this pilot will supply three identifiers to CBP in addition to MIDs: a Data Universal Numbering System, Global Location Number, and Legal Entity Identifier. CBP will then weigh the best combination of these identifiers to pull critical data from them. In addition to trade insights, this could allow government agencies to have quicker, more robust enforcement capabilities.