Customs- Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is a joint government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen overall supply chain and border security.
C-TPAT recognizes that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can provide the highest level of security only through close cooperation with the ultimate owners of the supply chain- importers, carriers, brokers, warehouse operators and manufacturers.
Through this initiative, CBP is asking businesses to ensure the integrity of their security practices and communicate their security guidelines to their business partners within the supply chain.
'De System' through its C-TPAT Compliance services will assist
Air Freight Consolidators or Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTI) or NVOCC's
apply for membership in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT). By supplying you with valuable information to efficiently complete the C-TPAT process, you will be able to save time and money clearing products through CBP.
What is C-TPAT?
The C-TPAT or “Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism”, is not more than an association established between a customs duty and an industry to effectively fight terrorism.
This is an initiative from both ends, which seeks for the greatest affinity between companies and the government in order to establish commercial cooperation relationships that reinforce and improve the business value chain and make sure there is enough security on the United States border.
This initiative also looks to establish greater and safer control parameters. In other words, the C-TPAT, places higher levels of security to prevent smuggling, which in one way or another, can contribute with the deterioration of companies running inside the United States.
This action will primarily be carried out by the work performed by the US Customs and Border Protection, also known by its acronym in English as CBP. At this point, CBP works with the commercial community to strengthen international supply chains and improve border security at the “northern giant”.
C-TPAT is a voluntary partnership program between the public and private sectors, working to recognize how Border Protection can provide the highest level of cargo security, only through close cooperation with the main stakeholders in the international supply chain, such as importers, transporters, consolidators, authorized customs agents and manufacturers.
In 2006, the “Security and Accountability for Every Port Act” also known as “SAFE Port Act” was signed to cover port security in the United States even more effectively, giving C-TPAT a legal framework for its whole program. This decision improved cargo security, making all the monitoring requirements to get fairly strict.
C-TPAT remains in constant growth
This program was formally established in 2001, and since its beginning it has been growing non-stop. It currently has more than 11,400 certified members covering a full range inside the commercial community
Among the different types of partners that have been accepted into this program, it is possible to differentiate the importers/exporters from the United States, the carriers that travel through highways between United States and Canada; Highway transporters working between United States and Mexico; rail and sea transporters; authorized US custom duty agents, the US Maritime Authority, terminal operators; United States cargo consolidators; intermediary sea carriers and non-operational common carriers; Mexican and Canadian manufacturers; and Mexican long distance carriers, all of which represent more than 52% of the total cargo imported to the United States.
How is this operation developed?
When an institution decides to join C-TPAT, an agreement is made with CBP to protect the supply chain. The main aspects to be determined are the security breaches, implementing specific measures and applying the best practices possible in order to secure all the merchandise.
All applicants must address a wide range of security issues and introduce their protection profiles, listing their action plans to align security throughout the supply chain.
It is considered that C-TPAT members are low risk and, therefore, less likely to be examined at a US port of entry.
Being part of C-TPAT has benefits
Once a company becomes a C-TPAT member, it starts enjoying a whole variety of benefits. For example, recently joined members have to know they will have a new active role: becoming an important part of US government’s war against terrorism and smuggling. Being on C-TPAT means working closer with the public sector to address these very important issues.
By joining C-TPAT, partners can better identify their own security vulnerabilities and take corrective measures to mitigate potential risks.
On the other hand, being a member allows the possibility of getting additional benefits by being recognized as a trusted commercial partner by the foreign custom duty administrations that have signed a mutual recognition with the United States.
How can you take part of the C-TPAT?
Participation in C-TPAT is voluntary and there are no costs associated with participation in the program. Additionally, a company does not need an intermediary to apply and work with the border protection unit.
The application process is easy. Everything is done online. The first step is for the company to review the minimum safety criteria from C-TPAT for its commercial entity in order to determine eligibility for the program.
What’s the best way to get C-TPAT certification?
If you own a company outside the United States and you’re interested in complying with C-TPAT requirements, we are experts in this field and we can help you get this certification. De System is one of the main consultants in India and neighboring countries for these procedures.