While the C-TPAT program has been around for over 15 years, the importance of an importer joining this voluntary program is increasing and the necessity of being C-TPAT certified will likely continue to grow. Many U.S. retailers are demanding that their suppliers become C-TPAT certified and a growing number of other U.S companies are also looking to their suppliers to get certified as well. Importers may soon find it become harder and harder to sell their products to U.S. buyers without having their C-TPAT certification.
The importance of supply chain security cannot be overstated. While we have not had any security incidents in the international supply chain to date, our enemies are constantly looking for vulnerabilities that they can exploit to harm our nation and its citizens. Due to the complexity of the supply chain and the large number of "links" in the chain there are areas where security could be breached. When a company becomes C-TPAT certified they are committing to do their part to address any problem areas and help keep their supply chain secure.
So why get C-TPAT certified? The reasons include:
- A competitive advantage. With more and more U.S. buyers looking for C-TPAT certified suppliers companies that are certified will find more opportunities to sell their products. C-TPAT can be a "leg up" over the competition.
- Partnering with U.S. Customs on security has benefits. C-TPAT certified importers should see far fewer Customs exams and avoid the high costs of those exams.
- Should a supply chain security breach occur, C-TPAT certified importers will see their supply chain restored soonest. This can be a huge advantage over companies who are not certified and may wait much longer to see their imports flowing again.
An interesting article about C-TPAT and its benefits can be found HERE.
So what is stopping most companies from pursuing C-TPAT certification. Many don't pursue certification because they don't see tangible benefits. Some say the cost in getting certified is simply too high. For others it's a lack of knowledge about the program. Whatever the reason it is getting more and more critical for companies that import on a regular basis to be certified.
Through our sister company TradeLogic International we can offer a full-range of services including C-TPAT certification application assistance. The cost is much less than you may think and the benefits are tangible and the number of benefits will likely continue to increase. For more information about C-TPAT certification contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.