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The LAX sign at the Century Boulevard entrance to Los Angeles International Airport
The LAX control tower and Theme Building


 (Los Angeles, California – March 12, 2012)   Guy Fox, who waited in line 50 years ago today to file the first free and dutiable customs entries at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX),  was commended today for his “tireless dedication over the past 50 years to building bridges through trade and selfless volunteer contributions.”  

At a ceremony at LAX’s Flight Path Museum and Learning Center to recognize Fox and LAX’s close relationship with U.S. Customs and Border Protection during the past half century

were Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners Vice President Valeria Velasco; Todd Owen, director of field operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and Joyce Sokoloski, chief of protocol, Orange County Board of Supervisors.  A commendation was also presented to Fox from the Los Angeles City Council citing him for his achievements.

Prior to March 1962, all customs entries had to be filed at an office in downtown Los Angeles.  It took two to three days to get the entries back for release of these goods, which was too long a period of time for perishable items.  To expedite the process, U.S. Customs opened a facility at LAX.

Fox, current chairman of the District Export Council of Southern California, a national appointment, and president of an international trade consulting firm, recalled how he became the person to file the very first entry at LAX.

 “I came to LAX on Saturday, March 10, 1962, to pick up the blank documents I needed to submit,” he said. “I then went back to my office and prepared the forms that would become the first free and dutiable customs entries at LAX.”

Fox recalled that on Monday, March 12, 1962, he began waiting in line at airport at 5 a.m. for the new customs facility to open at 8 a.m.  When 8 a.m. arrived, he was still the only person in line.

“It was evident that I was the only one who thought it was an historic moment,” Fox said.  “There was no fanfare and no excitement; it was just business as usual.”  Someone at Customs, however, had a camera and they took the only photo that records that event.

The first dutiable Customs entry received was fabric from France valued at $286.  At that time a formal entry had to be filed on goods valued in excess of $250.  The free entry was a broken aircraft windshield made in America and returned for repair from Canada.

Today, Fox remains actively involved in the international trade community and is considered one of the most influential individuals in international trade in Southern California.  His consulting firm specializes in supply chain management, contract negotiations, structuring strategic alliances and infrastructure analysis.

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