A Centralized Examination Station (CES) is a privately operated facility, designated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) but not under the direct charge of a Customs officer. It is where imported or exported cargo is made available for physical examination by Customs officers to ensure compliance with regulations and laws.
The CES is used for consolidated examination functions, facilitating efficient cargo processing. When a shipment is selected for examination, it is transported to a CES. The importer is responsible for all costs associated with a Customs exam at the CES, including transportation to and from the CES, the CES fee, and storage. A CES can be established in any port or area under the jurisdiction of a port director.