Partner Government Agencies (PGAS): Who’s Looking Over Your Shoulders?

Partner government agencies (PGAs) are a major factor as to why international trade is so challenging. Not understanding PGAs can bottleneck global trade operations. If you are importing any medical equipment, cosmetics, or food, you’ll need FDA approval. There are many such PGA requirements, and running afoul of them can hold up previously-approved goods you’ve already shipped. Any given policy change or agency response could grind your trade machine to a halt.

PGAs are always looking over your shoulders. Many of these agencies exist to protect the public and the environment, and CBP is responsible to ensure nothing comes into this country that shouldn’t. Not all PGAs treat compliance-seekers the same: The FDA is very strict; other PGAs just require a form and some additional reporting. PGAs operate transparently and will tell you how to properly import your product—but only if you request the information. Make sure you have someone on your team who knows those types of details—and who knows classifications and compliance cold—before executing global transactions.

Understanding How PGAs Operate Creates Trade Adaptability for You

Partner government agencies are divisions of the U.S. federal government which are responsible for regulating products entering the U.S. Each PGA covers a specific area, such as:

  • Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division (ATTD) (aka ATF). Monitors firearms, consumer explosives (e.g. fireworks), tobacco products, and liquor imports;
  • Department of Transportation (DOT). Manages the imports of transportation vehicles, e.g. cars, trucks, busses;
  • Federal Drug Administration: Maintains import compliance over items such as pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, veterinary products; and
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Audits imported agricultural products.

Each PGA works closely with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to ensure that import regulations are followed. CBP will not allow PGA-prohibited goods to enter or disembark in the U.S. So if you don’t want CBP to slow you down, you’ll need to stay up-to-date on PGA requirements and updates.

These are yet more reasons to gain the assistance of an experienced partner when dealing with PGAs. Your partner’s primary goal is to guide your business towards long-term success. This partner must understand how your business currently operates while keeping an eye on your future goals. They will ensure that the PGAs which apply to your business operations are properly identified and that their guidelines are being met. This provides you with deeper levels of accountability across the board, and accurate, precise audit documentation.

Engaging a GTCC is the Key to Getting PGA Strategy Right

PGAs constantly release new regulations and guidelines that increase the risk to your international trade operations. We recommend using a global trade compliance consultant (GTCC) to deal with the requirements and expectations set by applicable PGAs. A GTCC helps identify efficiency gaps and suggests the best options for reaching your international trade goals. This greatly reduces risk while ensuring your business processes are compliant—and that your products reach their destinations.


Connect With Us