C-TPAT:- IMPORTANCE AND IMPLEMENTATION

S S Lavate.*, Aravin Prince Periyasamy, Arvind Angadi  Dept of Textiles, D.K.T.E's Textile & Engineering Institute, Ichalkaranji-416115, Maharashtra, India  saatishslavate@gmail.com 
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Prologue

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) certification program ensures that the highest standards of safety and security are applied at all levels of the manufacturing and transportation process which is the largest and most successful government-private sector partnership to emerge from the ashes of 9/11/2001. C-TPAT was launched in November 2001, with just seven companies and seven major importers. Today, over 7,400 companies are enrolled, and these companies are critical players in the global supply chain. Since beginning, the guiding principles for C-TPAT have been voluntary participation and jointly developed security criteria, best practices and implementation procedures. C-TPAT partners have worked with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to protect their supply chains from concealment of terrorist weapons, including weapons of mass destruction and global supply chains are more secure today as a result of C-TPAT. In this paper mainly focus is on the importance, benefits and certification procedure for C-TPAT.

Introduction

More than 1 lac Terrotorist attacks have been carried out across  globe out of which  around 2700 incidents in USA killing millions of innocent  people in last decades. Terrorists  are using  different  ways  and means to carryout attacks, These incidences have spread up  in other parts of the world  but in USA these have been reduced drastically since 9/11 due to the precaution taken in every part of life. C-TPAT is the one certifying activity carried out to prevent terrorism by keeping strict checking  on the imported goods. C-TPAT is widely recognized as one of the most effective means of providing the highest level of cargo security through close cooperation with international supply chain businesses, In exchange CBP provides reduced inspections at the port of arrival and expedited processing at the border. In conjunction with the C-TPAT program, Deck Transport drivers are approved for FAST (Free and Secure Trade which identifies Deck Transport as a low risk carrier with high security standards in place. This certification allows Deck Transport to move pre-approved eligible goods using FAST designated lanes to cross the border and deliver goods to the customers quickly. C-TPAT is one of several CBP initiatives implemented after 9/11 to achieve CBP’s twin goals: security and facilitation. Due to these precautionary measures, the drastic reduction in terrorist atrtacks which has curtailed human, materilastic, tourism and economic losses, the figure.1 indicates the decilened trends of an incidences after 2001.

fig-1Fig:1 Total terrorist attacks in USA between 2001 to 2011

If we look at socio,politico and economic conditions across the globe C-TPAT certification found to be protection tool to avoid untoward incidences.

C-TPAT Opportunities

C-TPAT continuously monitors how internal and external factors affect the achievement of goals and ultimately the success of the program. Monitoring these factors, and developing strategies for mitigating them, is accomplished through an analysis of stakeholders, as well as internal and external strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the C-TPAT program and its operating environment. These analyses served as the starting point for the C-TPAT strategic planning process and are addressed in the strategic plan. Strengths identified in the C-TPAT program include the voluntary nature of the partnerships, shared CBP/industry responsibility for supply chain security and the trust engendered by external stakeholders as a result of the partnerships. In addition, C-TPAT offers the ability to influence and leverage entities in the supply chain that regulations often can’t reach and allows for customization of security needs by the trade community. This also enhances internal and external communication with stakeholders, to provide continuing education for supply chain specialists and to hire additional highly qualified people into the C-TPAT program. Other opportunities are anticipated from the automation of C-TPAT, as well as additional information sharing and training for the trade community and within CBP. Through this strategic plan, CBP will continue to leverage the opportunities and strengths and to mitigate the weaknesses and threats.

To whom C-TPAT Certification is needed:

  1. U.S. Importers
  2. U.S. Customs Brokers
  3. Canadian Manufacturers
  4. Mexican Manufacturers
  5. U.S., Canadian & Mexican Cross
  6. Third Party Logistics (3PL) Providers Border Highway Carriers
  7. Marine Port Authorities &
  8. Mexican Long Haul Highway Carriers Terminal Operators
  9. Air Carriers
  10. Rail Carriers
  11. Sea Carriers
  12. Air Freight Consolidators
  13. Ocean Transportation Intermediaries
  14. Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs)

C-TPAT Implementation Process

It is a ten step implementation process which is as follows;

Identify Organization’s C-TPAT Category (Nine Certifications)
The organisations
Identify Executive Management Committee (Owners of Program)
Identify C-TPAT Project Manager (Facilitator/Program Manager)
Identify C-TPAT Coordinator
Identify Facility Security Leads
Identify Internal C-TPAT Organization (Subject matter Experts)
Write:  Security Awareness & Accountability Policy (Ownership & Overview)
Create & Write:   Company Security Profile
Physical Security Review (Create Self-Audit Process & Implement Self-Audit it)
Implement C-TPAT Application Process:
Organization Reference & Summary
Self-Assessment & Security Profile (Questionnaire)
Appendix(s): Identify U.S. Locations, Non-U.S.Locations, Transportation Providers.
GAP Analysis of Security Program & Improvement Program
Organization’s SCS Policy Statements (Promises)
CBP C-TPAT Agreement to Voluntarily Participation
 Initiate CBP C-TPAT Portal
Create & Write:   SCS Implementation Policy (Company Procedures)
Create & Write:   SCS Systems Manual (Reference Document to C-TPAT)
Create & Write:   C-TPAT Requirements (SOP’s)
Container/Trailer Security (Seal Program)
Physical Access Controls (Employees, Visitors, Mail, Unauthorized Entry)
Personnel Security (Pre-Employment, Backgrounds, Terminations )
Procedural Security (Shipping/Receiving , Manifests, Shortages, Documentation )
Employee Security Training/Threat Awareness
Physical Security (Building, Perimeter, Lighting, Parking Lots, Locks, Systems)
IT Security (Passwords, Accountability)
Create & Write:   Business Partner Program
Internal Storage (Intranet, Portal, Connex)
Company Letter to Business Partners (Write)
Business Partner Security Questionnaire (Design & Implement)
Distribution Program & Receipt Validation
Business Partner Audits/Reviews
Business Partner Validations

C-TPAT Benefits

C-TPAT offers businesses an opportunity to play an active role in the war against terrorism. By participating in this first worldwide supply chain security initiative, companies will ensure a more secure supply chain for their employees, suppliers and customers. In addition, CBP offers the following benefits to C-TPAT members:

  • A reduced number of inspections and reduced border wait times.
  • A C-TPAT supply chain specialist to serve as the CBP liaison for validations, security issues, procedural updates, communication and training.
  • Access to the C-TPAT members through the Status Verification Interface.
  • Self-policing and self-monitoring of security activities.
  • In the Automated Commercial System (ACS), C-TPAT certified importers receive reduced selection rate for Compliance Measurement Examinations (-3X in FY 2003) and exclusion from certain trade-related local and national criteria.
  • C-TPAT certified importers receive targeting benefits (-7X in FY 2003) by receiving a “credit” via the CBP targeting system.
  • Certified C-TPAT importers are eligible for access to the FAST lanes on the Canadian and mexican borders. Also highway carriers, benefit from their access to the expedited cargo processing at designated FAST lanes. These carriers are eligible to receive more favorable mitigation relief from monetary penalties.
  • Certified C-TPAT importers are eligible for the Office of Strategic Trade’s (OST) Importers.
  • Self-Assessment Program (ISA) and have been given priority access to participate in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).
  • C-TPAT certified Mexican manufacturers benefit from their access to the expedited cargo processing at the designated FAST lanes.
  • All certified C-TPAT companies are eligible to attend CBP sponsored C-TPAT supply chain security training seminars.

CBP provided benefits are not the only benefits that companies realize by joining C-TPAT. Companies have found that joining C-TPAT often results in discovering outdated procedures and/or discovering areas that need improved security and efficiency. While per forming the required supply chain assessment for C-TPAT membership, companies are able to streamline their operations. C-TPAT aids companies in optimizing their internal and external management of assets and functions while at the same time enhancing security. When administered together, enhanced security practices and procedures, and increased supply chain performance will mitigate the risk of loss, damage and theft, and reduce the likelihood of the introduction of potentially dangerous elements into the global supply chain. C-TPAT also helps in brand equity and marketability.

The successful integration and alignment of increased security and enhanced supply chain efficiency is one of the great successes of C-TPAT. Through the collaborative work of CBP and the trade community, C-TPAT enhances the security and efficiency of legitimate trade.

Epilogue

Since 9/11, combating terrorism has become the number one priority for United states  and for CBP because the threat of another terrorist attack remains real. C-TPAT provides an effective tool to oppose this threat. As a result, C-TPAT has gained global recognition and support. Apart from many companies believe in corporate good citizenry, participants find that assessing supply chain security procedures and practices improves business efficiency. C-TPAT has a positive effect throughout international business, as companies are now requesting security information from their service providers, vendors, suppliers and manufacturers. Many C-TPAT companies are contractually requiring businesses to improve security to meet C-TPAT guidelines.

Reference.

  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/11/nine-facts-about-terrorism-in-the-united-states-since-911/ U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
  • http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/cargo_security/ctpat/2013_ctpat_conf/
  • http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/cargo_security/ctpat/
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_the_United_States
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/10-seismic-changes-since 911/2013/09/10/4499cf18-19b4-11e3-82ef-a059e54c49d0_gallery.html#photo=1

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