New Trade Security Measures
new Commissioner, Robert C. Bonner, has made it clear that enhanced
security is currently Customs' primary focus.
To this end, Customs and Congress are implementing several
programs designed to heighten the security measures in international
trade. These include:
The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (TPAT),
Customs "Operation Shield America," and
The Port Security Act of 2002 (pending in Congress).
Partnership Against Terrorism
November 27, 2001, Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner announced
a Customs "Trade Partnership Against Terrorism" (TPAT) calling for
development and implementation of a new industry security standard
for countering terrorism.
Bonner cautioned, "[w]e must reaffirm the importance of knowing
your customer, and consider the overall "air-tightness" of your
supply chain, from factory floor, to loading dock, to transportation
to our border. Every
single link in that chain must be made more secure against the terrorist
key provisions of the initiative are expected to include:
Increased security measures at the plant or loading
Security during transport;
Better, more accurate, and more timely advance manifest
information on all forms of entry and shipments;
Use of electronic seals for container shipments to
identify shipments opened or tampered with.
sources indicate that such key provisions could additionally result
in the recommendation of the following specific safeguards:
A written and well-implemented supply-chain security
An employee policy manual;
Restricted access to shipping/receiving areas at factory,
distribution and destination areas, and employee identification
Training of personnel to identify suspect shipments,
and company incentives for reporting such activity;
Procedures for reporting the discovery of contraband,
diversions, suspicious shipments;
Sealing, locking, and securing all loaded trailer/containers
and use of electronic and advance algorithmic seals;
Systematic tracking of shipments using GPS transponders;
Requiring authorized signatures for paperwork preparation,
affixing of seals, breaking of seals, physical piece counts, trailer
inspections, and driver checklists;
Limited access to, control over, and inspection of
all empty and stuffed conveyances, containers, chassis, etc.;
Cargo-Security agreements with other business partners
requiring similar security measures.
this stage, the TPAT is envisioned as a voluntary program.
The program would entail the assignment of Customs Account
Managers to active members.
Such active members which meet security standards would benefit
from a "fast lane" through border crossings, and through seaports
and other ports of entry as "low-risk companies."
program is expected to include:
Dedicated commercial lanes for approved and active
Deployment of Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) technology
at selected ports for faster screening and expedited clearance;
Priority levels of service for program members;
U.S. Customs expertise in securing cargo and conveyances
against the threat of terrorism through a designated Customs point
is presently developing appropriate audit tools to measure security
compliance, and these are expected to be integrated into the Focused
failure to meet the security standards or to participate in the
program will result in Customs classifying the importer into an
"unknown" category for anti-terrorism security.
Such "unknown" importers will suffer from:
Higher scrutiny of cargo and conveyance;
Increased reviews and audits;
Increased requests for more information.
Development to Proceed Rapidly
in COAC Air, Land, and Sea Subcommittees
overarching principles for supply chain models were established
in a conference meeting on December 5th at Customs Headquarters.
An internal "blueprint" for the initiative was given to the
Commissioner of Customs on December 10th, 2001.
is now coordinating the creation of a comprehensive recommendation
on behalf of the trade community and, therefore, has invited all
members of the trade community to participate as technical advisors
on Land, Air, or Sea teams.
The teams will develop supply-chain models to be forwarded
to COAC, and thereafter to Under Secretary Gurule of the Treasury
December 12, teams began meeting at Customs headquarters, and by
January 2nd they will develop their best practice models.
Team leaders will again meet with Customs on January 9th
and will submit proposals to COAC by January 18th.
COAC compilation from the Air, Land and Sea teams will take the
form of a recommendation to the Treasury Department on January 25th.
Companies Can Undertake Immediately
may wish to assess security measures currently in place and to plan
for general improvements to their supply-chain security protocols
in order to be able to (1) achieve and (2) properly document
a heightened supply-chain security.
who wish to participate directly, or indirectly, in the COAC drafting
process are invited to contact us for further information.
We will be keeping the trade abreast of further developments
on our website as they are announced.
December 10, 2001, Customs launched "Operation Shield America."
The program will be headed by the Office of Strategic Investigations,
and is designed to prevent international terrorist organizations
from obtaining sensitive U.S. technology, weapons, and other equipment.
Principally, the program consists of (1) outreach, and
(2) investigation and prosecution.
Intelligence Division has compiled a list of key technologies and
weapons likely to be of interest to terrorist groups, and is presently
soliciting feedback from the Departments of State, Commerce, Defense,
Energy, Treasury, and Justice in order to reach an accord on the
items that should be the focus of Operation Shield America.
field offices will immediately be identifying the U.S. firms in
their areas that manufacture or distribute materials on the list
compiled by Customs. Customs
agents will then be visiting these firms, and will provide materials
about Operation Shield America, U.S. export controls, and data about
the items sought by terrorists.
Customs agents will also encourage these firms to notify
Customs if they are approached by customers looking to acquire and
export their products illegally.
the same time, Customs agents will increase efforts in investigating
and prosecuting those who attempt to acquire and illegally export
sensitive technology, weapons, and equipment to international terrorist
Security Measures Act of 2001
Port Security Measures Act of 2001 has been introduced and is currently
pending in the House and Senate.
The Act recognizes that 25 of the nations' seaports account
for 98 percent of all container traffic, and yet such seaports receive
no Federal funds for security measures.
Therefore, the bill also proposes to authorize such Federal
funds for implementing security procedures at seaports.
addition, the Senate version of the bill would require amendment
to existing ocean vessel entry procedures:
by promulgating regulations to require all ocean manifests to be
transmitted in electronic form to the Custom Service in sufficient
time for the information to be used effectively by Customs, notwithstanding
the second sentence of section 411(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930
(19 U.S.C. § 1411(b));
by promulgating regulations to require all entries of goods, including
in-bond entries, to provide the same information required for entries
of goods released into the commerce of the United States to the
Customs Service before the goods are released for shipment from
the seaport of first arrival, notwithstanding sections 552, 553,
and 1641 of such Act (19 U.S.C. §§ 1552, 1553, and 1641); and
by distributing the above information on a real-time basis to any
Federal, State, or local government agency that has a regulatory
or law-enforcement interest in the goods.
will be updating the trade on additional information as it becomes
available. Should your company have questions or be interested in
program participation, please feel free to contact us, and to view
our website for additional information.
by Tuttle Law Offices.
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.