On November 25, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the establishment of the E-Commerce and Small Business Branch within the agency’s Office of Trade. Worldwide e-commerce sales are expected to reach over $4 trillion by 2020 – the branch will work to address the various complexities resulting from this new global shift.

CBP stated that it is committed to ensuring the safe and legitimate flow of trade, while at the same time identifying and preventing inferior and unsafe merchandise from entering into the global commerce. As the holiday shopping season approaches and as Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday sales spike, CBP warns consumers that the benefits afforded by online platforms also elevate the risk and opportunity for criminal trade.