C-TPAT: An Update to Supply Chain Security and Trade Compliance
By: Linda Bravo, Corporate Customs Broker, Transplace and Sergio Flores, Safety and Security Coordinator, Transplace
In today’s ever-chaining business environment, organizations are faced with ongoing security challenges. It’s crucial for shippers to understand any potential risks to their supply chains and establish security plans—and one significant way to proactively protect their operations is by becoming a member of the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program.
The C-TPAT program is a part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) multi-layered cargo enforcement strategy. Through this program, the CBP works with the trade community to support international supply chains and enhance U.S. border security, while helping businesses to create impactful security practices throughout their entire supply chain.
What are the Benefits of Being a Member of C-TPAT?
The program was originally established in 2001, and according to the CBP, “there are currently more than 11,400 certified partners spanning across the trade community.” Becoming a member of the C-TPAT program can deliver many benefits for shippers and transportation providers alike, including:
- Fewer customs inspections. C-TPAT certification offers companies the opportunity to decrease customs inspections and documentation reviews.
- Improved efficiency. C-TPAT members have a better chance of co-loading northbound cross-border shipments without affecting transit times.
- Quick response time. Companies participating in the C-TPAT program can resume business quickly in the case of a national emergency.
- Faster border crossings. Members can use special lanes designated for C-TPAT partners at border crossings, and can move to the front of the line during inspections.
- Enhanced reputation. Participating in a national security program reflects a company’s ongoing commitment to cargo safety.
Recent Updates to the C-TPAT Program’s Minimum-Security Criteria
In May 2019, the CBP announced that it has added Minimum-Security Criteria (MSC) requirements to the C-TPAT guidelines in order to help further mitigate risks. Some of the areas that were incorporated and updated in the program’s new criteria included:
- Issues related to cyber security.
- Protection of the supply chain from agricultural contaminants and pests.
- Prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing.
- The proper use and management of security technology, such as intrusion alarms and security camera systems.
Members are expected to implement the new criteria throughout the remainder of 2019, and validation of the new MSC will begin in early 2020. The CBP has requested that C-TPAT members follow the below phased approach for implementing the new MSC requirements:
- Phase 1 – Complete updates to cybersecurity, conveyance and IT security and seal security (the June 30th deadline for this phase has already passed).
- Phase 2 – By August 31st, organizations need to complete education, training and awareness, business partner security and risk assessment for their staff and partners.
- Phase 3 – Members have until October 31st to make updates to their security vision and responsibility, physical security and physical access controls for the new MSC.
- Phase 4 – By December 31st, all agricultural security, personnel security and procedural security updates should be made.
Transplace’s Commitment to Compliance
At Transplace, we understand the value that a C-TPAT certification brings to our customers, and we continually work to display our strong commitment to both compliance and security. We currently hold multiple C-TPAT certifications throughout our organization.
- Transplace International holds a C-TPAT consolidator certification.
- Transplace Mexico holds a C-TPAT certification as a U.S. licensed customs broker.
- Laser Forwarding holds a C-TPAT consolidator certification.
Recently, our Laser Forwarding Team had their C-TPAT revalidated without any recommendations from the CBP. We are committed to the C-TPAT compliance guidelines and are always working to increase our operational and administrative standards. Below are a few members from the Transplace team and the CBP who worked on making the latest revalidation possible.
Left to right: Craig Carnes, Supply Chain Security Specialist, CBP; Daniel Quiroz, Operations Manager, Transplace; Scott Dunn, Supply Chain Security Specialist, CBP; Linda Bravo, U.S. Customs Director, Transplace; Sergio Flores, Safety and Security Coordinator, Transplace
What steps are you taking to keep your supply chain secure?