U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) is tasked with keeping our country safe by making sure that our borders are secure. Considering the fact that over 30 million import shipments enter the U.S. each year this is a tremendously large responsibility. One way that CBP accomplishes this important task is by partnering with importers and other companies who are part of the international supply chain to work together to keep the supply chain secure through the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT).
For importers the importance of a secure supply chain cannot be overstated. Just one incident involving an import shipment could lead to long delays or worse, and companies that proactively work to secure their own supply chain will be far better prepared should an incident occur. The best way to be prepared is to do a self-audit of your supply chain and consider joining Customs as a partner in the CTPAT program.
Importers can conduct a Five Step Risk Assessment to review their supply chain using the CBP guide found HERE. Once possible weak points are identified the importer can work with their business partners to secure those areas of vulnerability, oftentimes through some fairly minor modifications of their policies and procedures. While some importers fear the costs of doing a risk assessment many find that the process is not nearly as complicated as they feared.
Obtaining certification as a CTPAT partner can reduce the number of delays and costly Customs exams and provide the importer's shipments with "front of the line" processing. Congress is pushing CBP to make changes to the CTPAT program that will grant even more benefits to certified partners. Congress is also pushing CBP to increase enforcement actions meaning companies that are not certified could face an even great likelihood of delays and added costs.
For more information about CTPAT click HERE.
We also would invite you to have a brief discussion with our CTPAT professionals to provide you with an overview of the process and the costs associated with getting CTPAT certified. Please contact us for further information by clicking HERE.