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Newsletter

Update on C-TPAT: Fall 2003 Training
Seminar and C-TPAT Membership
for Certain Foreign Manufacturer
s

October 20, 2003

The following is an update to recent announcements by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), concerning C-TPAT.

  1. C-TPAT Fall 2003 Anti-terrorism Training Seminar

CBP has announced that a C-TPAT anti-terrorism training seminar will be held during the period of October 27-30, 2003, at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California. The seminar is free, but only current members of C-TPAT are permitted to attend. CBP has indicated that attendees should be individuals directly responsible for the implementation of C-TPAT security guidelines in their company. The format of the San Francisco conference will resemble CBP's first seminar, held in Miami earlier this year.

  1. CBP Expands C-TPAT Eligibility To Mexican Manufacturers And Certain Asian And European Factories

CBP has long recognized that the supply chain of an importer cannot be secure until the importer's foreign manufacturers are allowed to join C-TPAT.

CBP has announced that the first phase of opening C-TPAT to foreign manufacturers will be to offer C-TPAT participation to Mexican manufacturers, Mexico-related parties, and a select group of foreign manufacturers in Asia and Europe. For the select group in Asia and Europe, these foreign manufacturers will be contacted directly by CBP to determine if they are interested in joining C-TPAT. Even if a company has a related overseas manufacturer, it will not be eligible to join unless it is located in Mexico or is one of the select groups located in Asia and Europe.

CBP has indicated that, even if the foreign manufacturer is a certified BASC (Business Anti-smuggling Coalition) member, the company must still apply for C-TPAT, because BASC is a private sector controlled initiative, whereas C-TPAT is a CBP-sponsored program. It is anticipated that certified BASC companies will more rapidly meet the standards of C-TPAT, thus expediting the enrollment process. CBP intends to validate all of the foreign manufacturers that become C-TPAT certified.

  1. C-TPAT And FAST Certification For Border Carriers

CBP is modifying the FAST (Free And Secure Trade) program, which is designed to improve the efficiency of screening and clearing commercial traffic at the borders shared with Canada and Mexico. FAST-approved carriers can obtain benefits, such as dedicated lanes for greater speed and efficiency and the clearance of FAST-transported shipments, and reduced number of examinations for compliance. At present, FAST can only be used at certain U.S. ports of entry. The modifications change the eligibility and application requirements in order for a company to participate in FAST. In order for U.S.-bound commercial shipments to be able to use the FAST lane, the merchandise must be imported by a C-TPAT certified importer. In addition, the merchandise must be transported by a C-TPAT approved carrier who is also FAST-certified. Moreover, the driver must be in possession of a valid FAST commercial driver card. The application for becoming FAST certified can be viewed on CBP's web site (www.cbp.gov). This application also includes criteria for being a member of C-TPAT. Even if a carrier is FAST-certified for the Northern Border, the carrier must make a separate application to receive benefits along the Southern border. This is because the information used to apply for the Northern and Southern borders is slightly different. In order to be eligible for FAST along the Southern border (Mexico), the merchandise must be manufactured by a C-TPAT-certified foreign manufacturer.

Our law firm has assisted many companies in applying for certification in C-TPAT, including importers, NVOCC's, and customshouse brokers. Thus, we can assist companies in applying for C-TPAT as well as FAST.

Stephen S. Spraitzar, an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle, intends to attend the San Francisco CBP training seminar.

If you have any questions on any of the issues raised in this newsletter, please contact Steve Spraitzar at (415) 288-0427 or via email at sss@tuttlelaw.com, or George R. Tuttle at (415) 288-0425 or via email at grt@tuttlelaw.com.

Stephen Spraitzar is an attorney with the Law Offices of George R. Tuttle in San Francisco. The information in this article is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship with respect to any event or occurrence, and may not be considered as such.

Copyright 2005 by Tuttle Law Offices.

All rights reserved. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by our offices or by others, we do not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any information and are not responsible for any errors, omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of such information.

 

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