Enterprises Meet C-TPAT Compliance Requirements

Enterprises Meet C-TPAT Compliance Requirements

Enterprises Meet C-TPAT Compliance Requirements

C-TPAT-Compliance-VeristreamOne of the biggest challenges facing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the inability to open and inspect every container crossing into U.S. ports and borders. Manpower limitations and the significant volume of freight coming into the country make the task impossible. The CBP estimates it opens and views approximately 5 to 6 percent of all containers entering the U.S.; they closely review paperwork on the remaining 94 to 95 percent. This inability to inspect such a large number of containers means the majority of containers are vulnerable to potential threats.

Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a program called Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, or C-TPAT, was created. Designed to build cooperative relationships that strengthen international supply chains and U.S. border security, the aim of C-TPAT is to safeguard the world’s trade industry from terrorists while maintaining the economic health of the U.S. and its neighbors. By 2014, 10,854 U.S. companies had become members.

As a voluntary government-private sector partnership, C-TPAT encourages importers to secure their importing processes from overseas suppliers at their locations, so that containers arrive without potential problems.

C-TPAT Benefits the Supply Chain

The CBP benefits from the C-TPAT initiative because it ensures security of uninspected containers through best-practice processes implemented and managed by importers. In return, C-TPAT importers benefit from a reduced possibility of inspection, greater security of their goods, reduction of supply chain disruptions, faster movement of freight through ports and Mexican and Canadian borders, special port entry for type of product, possible lower insurance premiums, possible mitigation on Importer Security Filing liquidated damage claims, increase in public image, and a dedicated CBP liaison.

C-TPAT Methodology

Businesses that join C-TPAT may select a dedicated internal team or hire an outside consulting organization to perform the tasks required for registration and compliance. Veristream security experts offer these services, including export compliance, package delivery control, vehicle control and other C-TPAT security procedures.

Veristream iVisitor tool

In addition, C-TPAT members are responsible for physical access controls preventing unauthorized entry to facilities, maintaining control of employees and visitors and protecting company assets. Veristream’s iVisitor is a great tool for conforming to these compliance demands. iVisitor provides reporting/tracking information, is easily scalable to multi-locations, and helps manage the following access security requirements:

  • Obtaining employee, vendor and visitor identification and background checks, at all points of entry for access control purposes
  • Establishing security clearance levels for employees
  • Controlling and documenting the issuance and removal of employee, visitor and vendor identification badges and access devices (such as keys, electronic access cards, etc.)
  • Controlling visitor and vendor photo identification procedures
  • Screening arriving packages and mail
  • Putting procedures in place to identify, challenge and address unauthorized/unidentified persons at access points
  • Screening prospective employees and periodically running background checks on current employees; maintaining a current permanent employee list (foreign and domestic) according to C-TPAT requirements and more

With security risks threatening supply chains around the globe, enterprises become more willing to support initiatives like C-TPAT focused on addressing and preventing supply chain risks. Participating in C-TPAT adds a layer of security for importers, shippers, carriers, brokers, and logistics-providers that ultimately benefit their employees, internal operations, suppliers, and customers.

Obtaining C-TPAT certification offers businesses the opportunity to play a role in supporting national security, while improving their own supply chain operations.

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