Ever since the disaster of September 11th, the US government has upped its vigilance for smuggled arms, humans and contraband in general. It has added many layers of security to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program and the C-TPAT or the Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism, happens to be just such a measure.
It was initiated in November 2001 with 10 major importers. Today more than 50% of all imported goods crossing US borders are from partners who are C-TPAT compliant. Over 10,000 members including U.S. importers, U.S./Canada highway carriers; U.S./Mexico highway carriers; rail and sea carriers; licensed U.S. Customs brokers; U.S. marine port authority/terminal operators; U.S. freight consolidators; ocean transportation intermediaries and non‐operating common carriers; Mexican and Canadian manufacturers; and Mexican long‐haul carriers are part of the C-TPAT network and enjoy a long list of privileges.
WHAT C-TPAT STANDS FOR AND HOW TO GET COMPLIANT?
The C-TPAT alliance is not mandated by the US government. It is a voluntary admission program. It aims to ensure that healthy trade relations are maintained with countries on a global scale and the international trade supply chains are strengthened. With the expertise and cooperation of the CBP, importers who are a part of C-TPAT work on protection best practices and identify possible security gaps to get their goods into the country without being intercepted and breached by miscreants and agents of terrorism who may use the cargo to smuggle in the requisites of launching an attack on the nation.
The partners who enforce adherence to the basic guidelines of C-TPAT are given a Tier 2 ranking. Those who go above and beyond the stipulations to come up with innovative and proactive ways to collaborate with the CBP are honored with a Tier 3 status. Tier 3 C-TPAT partner entries are 9 times less likely to undergo security exams. And this is a huge convenience as well as monetary relief.
ADVANTAGES OF GETTING COMPLIANT:
C-TPAT network partners are simply more trustworthy in the eyes of the nation. Since they work in close association with the CBP and follow their recommended practices, entries filed by these members are not subjected to the rigorous security checks that other more questionable cargo is.
C-TPAT as a program also offers its members the advantage of constant communication with a Supply Chain Security Specialist (SCSP) who is in charge of managing the relationship with CBP and answering all security related queries. As far as possible and practicable, the cargo of C-TPAT partners is moved to the front of the processing line and if delays do occur, upon resumption of service their shipments and goods are handled first to cut down the time lag. C-TPAT partners are invited to attend yearly seminars and conferences on trade safety and other critical issues. And last but not the least, they are provided access to FAST (Free and Secure Trade) lanes to expedite border crossing.
American Casting and Manufacturing is an industry expert and boasts the shortest lead time for custom printed and numbered seals. It has a wide array of compliant cable locks, smooth pull tight seals, and bolt seals to hold goods in place and prevent tampering or manipulation. Without these one-time use padlocks, it is not possible to process the C-TPAT security checklist and be a part of this esteemed network.