has announced new information regarding the eligibility and application
processing for participation in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against
Terrorism (C-TPAT). The details of the C-TPAT is still to be finalized
by Customs; it is generally considered a cooperative relationship
with the goal of strengthening overall supply chain and border security.
The C-TPAT will be open to a broad spectrum of the trade community,
including importers, carriers, brokers, warehouse operators, and
manufacturers. Customs has already selected five volunteer importers
to participate in C-TPAT and will be shortly including others.
chief benefits of participation include:
(1) a reduced number of inspections (reduced border times);
(2) an assigned account manager (if one is not already assigned);
(3) for current Low Risk Importers (LRIs), an opportunity to expand
"low-risk" treatment to all divisions within the company; (Customs
has previously stated that a low-risk designation is assigned by
IRS number and that it is possible that only certain divisions within
a company would be eligible for low-risk designation.)
(4) access to the C-TPAT membership list;
(5) eligibility for account-based processes (e.g., bimonthly/monthly
an emphasis on self-policing, not Customs verifications;
(7) increased security assurances for employees
While the benefits of C-TPAT are obviously greater for large companies
that rely heavily on international supply chains, the C-TPAT is
designed for the entire trade community and Customs encourages all
companies to apply.
LRIs To Receive Immediate Benefits
importers (LRIs) will be accepted into C-TPAT upon submission of
a signed C-TPAT agreement. According to Customs, such LRI applications
will be expedited, since these companies have already been evaluated
for risk and the benefits under C-TPAT will begin immediately.
Other Companies Must Undergo A Customs' Risk Assessment
For companies other than LRI importers, C-TPAT benefits will not
begin until Customs has completed a company risk assessment encompassing
both security and trade compliance. These evaluations are expected
to be completed within 30-60 days after the applicant submits a
supply chain security questionnaire.
and Commitment Levels
states that the intent of C-TPAT is not to impose security requirements
that will be cost prohibitive and that potential C-TPAT participants
may find that they already have many of these guidelines in place.
is also not intended to create any new "liabilities" for companies
beyond existing trade laws and regulations. However, we advise that
a sound legal review process should require that all disclosures
to Customs are reviewed by a competent Customs attorney to ensure
that the company does not inadvertently expose an existing liability.
Customs believes that the C-TPAT should not duplicate work for current
Customs Carrier Initiative Program (CIP) participants.
participation requires the filing of a formal C-TPAT agreement committing
the applicant to undertake the following:
(1) Conduct a comprehensive self-assessment of supply chain security
using C-TPAT security guidelines jointly developed by Customs and
the trade community which address procedural security, physical
security, personnel security, education and training, access controls,
manifest procedures, and conveyance security;
Complete and 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; and
Communicate C-TPAT guidelines to other companies in the supply chain
and work toward building the guidelines into relationships with
Customs warns that if a company fails to uphold its C-TPAT commitments,
Customs would take action to suspend benefits or cancel participation.
Other Customs Initiatives in Anti-Terrorism and Security
September 11, 2001 the top priority of Customs has been responding
to the continuing threat at U.S. land borders, seaports, and airports.
According to Commissioner Bonner, Customs anti-terrorist efforts
of Anti-Terrorism. Customs has established a new Office of Anti-Terrorism
within Customs headed by an experienced security expert and senior
Green Quest. Operation Green Quest was formed as a joint investigative
team to fight against terrorist financing. It is led by Customs
and supported by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Secret Service,
and other Treasury Department bureaus, as well as the FBI and the
Shield America. Customs has been working under Operation Shield
America to monitor exports of strategic weapons and materials from
the U.S. and that since the inception of the program, Customs agents
have visited approximately 1,000 companies in the U.S. that manufacture
or sell items that may be sought by terrorists or state sponsors
of Border Security. Customs has established the Office of Border
Security to help Customs officers in the field. The mission of the
office is to develop more sophisticated anti-terrorism targeting
techniques for cargo and passengers in each border environment.
Smart Border Declaration. The US has worked with Canada to harmonize
security and commercial processing and that the US and Canada have
agreed to a 30-point "Smart Border Declaration."
Security Initiative. In January 2002, Commissioner Bonner proposed
a Container Security Initiative (CSI) to address the vulnerability
of cargo containers to the smuggling of terrorists and terrorist
weapons. The initiative would begin with the mega ports that export
to the US to develop a uniform standard for targeting and screening
cargo before it is shipped. The core elements of a sea container
security strategy include:
establishing security criteria for identifying high-risk containers
(i.e., those containers that potentially pose a risk);
prescreening the high-risk containers before they are shipped to
using technology to prescreen high-risk containers; and
developing smart boxes, smart and secure containers with e-seals
and light sensors that will indicate to Customs if the container
has been tampered with, particularly after it has been prescreened
Eight-Point Declaration. The US is now working with Mexico on
an eight-point declaration that would commence unprecedented cooperation
and information sharing regarding incoming goods and passengers
along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Customs Inspections. The percentage of Customs inspections has
increased significantly since the 9/11 attacks.
for Senate Bill 1214. The Senate's passage of S. 1214 was characterized
by Customs as a giant stride toward enactment of legislation that
will equip Customs with the tools, technology, and information it
needs to bolster US defenses against international terrorism. S.
1214 would require submission of advance shipping manifests which
are now to be strictly voluntary. By mandating advance information
for outbound as well as inbound passengers and cargo, S. 1214 would
expand on Customs' successful efforts to require airlines to submit
passenger manifests to the Advance Passenger Information System
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.