US Customs Service announces new plan to expedite border security
Apr 22, 2002 12:00 PM
The US Customs Service has announced a joint initiative between government and business designed to protect the security of cargo entering the United States while improving the flow of trade.
The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) requires importers to take steps to assess, evolve, and communicate new practices that ensure tighter security of cargo and enhanced security throughout the supply chain. In return, their goods and conveyances will receive expedited processing into the United States, according to the Customs Service.
Besides giving their cargo faster processing at the border, Customs will offer additional potential benefits to C-TPAT members, including: dedicated commercial lanes where infrastructure permits; assigned Customs point of contact (account manager); eligibility for account-based processes (bimonthly/monthly payments); and reduced inspections.
Businesses must apply to participate in C-TPAT. C-TPAT membership is available to importers, carriers, brokers, warehouse operators, and manufacturers. Participants will sign an agreement that commits them to the following actions: conduct a comprehensive self-assessment of supply chain security using the C-TPAT security guidelines jointly developed by Customs and the trade community; submit a supply chain security questionnaire to Customs; develop and implement a program to enhance security throughout the supply chain in accordance with C-TPAT guidelines; communicate C-TPAT guidelines to other companies in the supply chain and work toward building the guidelines into relationships with these companies.
C-TPAT benefits can begin once Customs has completed a company risk assessment encompassing both security and trade compliance. Highly compliant importers who have already been evaluated for risk will be accepted into C-TPAT upon submission of a signed C-TPAT agreement.