Customs released its C-TPAT Validation Guidelines. Here are some
highlights of the process:
The stated purpose of the validation process is to
ensure that C-TPAT participants have implemented the security
measures outlined in their Security Profile and in any supplemental
information provided to Customs.
A validation is an on-site review of the participant’s
C-TPAT supply chain security profile.
U.S. Customs Office of Field Operations
personnel and a representative of the C-TPAT participant will
conduct the validation process jointly. The validation process
will enable Customs and the C-TPAT participant to review the participant’s
C-TPAT security profile and ensure that security actions in the
profile are being effectively executed.
Throughout the process there will
be the opportunity to discuss security issues and to share “best
practices” with the ultimate goal of securing the international
supply chain. It is understood that the recommendations are not mandatory and are not all-inclusive
with respect to effective security practices.
C-TPAT validations are scheduled to last not longer
than ten working days.
Validations may be initiated based on import volume,
security related anomalies, strategic threat posed by geographic
regions, or other risk related information. Alternatively, a
validation may be performed as a matter of routine program oversight.
Customs Headquarters will schedule a company’s
first validation within approximately three years of the company
becoming a C-TPAT certified participant.
Customs field offices will not initiate validations
and unannounced validations will not be conducted.
C-TPAT participants will be given thirty days advance
written notice along with a request for any supporting documentation
that is need.
Validation findings will be documented, included
in the team’s final report, and forwarded to the Director
of C-TPAT for final editing and sharing with the C-TPAT participant.
Depending on the findings, some or all of the participant’s
C-TPAT benefits may be deferred until corrective action is taken
to address identified vulnerabilities.
You can download your copy of the C-TPAT
Validation guidelines from our web site.
and The New 24 Hour Manifest Rule
Customs has stated in an update to its FAQ’s
for the new 24 hour manifest rule that it expects C-TPAT partners
to provide the required manifest information as a regular part
of their security-related procedures; noting that accurate and
timely cargo declarations are critical to the delivery of the
cargo release benefits that are part of C-TPAT participation.
Customs explained that while C-TPAT participants will not be excluded
from the advance reporting requirements, their participation in
the program will be taken into account during the targeting process,
and that participation C-TPAT participation by the carrier or
automated NVOCC will be a mitigating factor for penalties and
R. Tuttle, III, 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 such.