C-TPAT: Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CBP)
C-TPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and U.S. Border Security.
C-TPAT offers trade-related 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 and expeditious supply chain for their employees, suppliers and customers.
From its inception in November 2001, C-TPAT continued to grow. Today, more than 11,400 certified partners spanning the gamut of the trade community, have been accepted into the program. The partners include U.S. importers/exporters, 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, all of whom account for over 52 percent (by value) of cargo imported into the U.S.
When an entity joins C-TPAT, an agreement is made to work with CBP to protect the supply chain, identify security gaps, and implement specific security measures and best practices. Applicants must address a broad range of security topics and present security profiles that list action plans to align security throughout the supply chain.
C-TPAT members are considered to be of low risk, and are therefore less likely to be examined at a U.S. port of entry.
C-TPAT Partners enjoy a variety of benefits, including taking an active role in working closer with the U.S. Government in its war against terrorism. As they do this, Partners are able to better identify their own security vulnerabilities and take corrective actions to mitigate risks. Some of the benefits of the program include:
- Reduced number of CBP examinations
- Front of the line inspections
- Possible exemption from Stratified Exams
- Shorter wait times at the border
- Assignment of a Supply Chain Security Specialist to the company
- Access to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Lanes at the land borders
- Access to the C-TPAT web-based Portal system and a library of training materials
- Possibility of enjoying additional benefits by being recognized as a trusted trade Partner by foreign Customs administrations that have signed Mutual Recognition with the United States
- Eligibility for other U.S. Government pilot programs, such as the Food and Drug Administration's Secure Supply Chain program
- Business resumption priority following a natural disaster or terrorist attack
- Importer eligibility to participate in the Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA)
- Priority consideration at CBP’s industry-focused Centers of Excellence and Expertise
The Importer's responsibility has never been greater with U.S. Customs shifting to the 'self-compliance principle' that holds Importers accountable to comply with a maze of government regulations The United States Customs Modernization Act (Mod Act) shifted the legal responsibility for Customs compliance activities to importers. It is the responsibility of importers to declare value, classification, duty rate and other information for every item imported into the US. Allegiance Customs Brokerage recommends that all importers review recordkeeping, classifications, valuations, special duty programs and all other aspects of a company's compliance activities relative to current requirements. Let Allegiance Customs Brokerage untangle the maze and assist with your compliance efforts.
Import Security Filing
Based on the SAFE Port Act of 2006, Customs Border Protection (CBP) is requires importers to electronically transmit 10 data elements 24 hours prior to the loading of ocean containers at the foreign port. Effective January 26, 2009, ALL importers must begin electronically filing the required information for all ocean shipments entering, or transiting the United States, including Free Trade Zones (FTZ). The Importer Security Filing (ISF) is a Global issue requiring data collection and expertise from a variety of sources within a very short time frame.
Immediate action is required by all U.S. Importers. Importers may choose to file this information themselves or contract with an agent to do this for them. It is the importers responsibility to obtain the required ISF data elements and ensure U.S. Customs receives them 24 hours before the vessel is loaded at the port of origin. As the importer, failure to transmit the 10 data elements on time will result in a $5,000 penalty per violation, plus the exposure and potential negative impact with CBP may cause future delays. Legal culpability for filing accurately and in a timely manner remains entirely with the Importer. There will be a flexible enforcement period of 12 months after the effective date, during which time CBP has stated they will show restraint in enforcing the rule, taking into account difficulties that importers may face in complying with the rule, so long as importers are making satisfactory progress toward compliance and are making a good faith effort to comply with the rule to the extent of their current ability.
The ISF (10) and Additional Carrier Requirements (2) Interim final rule will help prevent terrorist weapons from being transported to the U.S. by requiring both importers and carriers to submit additional information about their cargo to U.S. Customs before the cargo is brought into the United States by vessel.
Importers of certain plants and plant products are required to submit a declaration upon entry into the U.S. The declaration must contain, among other things, the scientific name of the plant, Genus and Species, Harmonized Tariff Number, value of the importation, quantity of the plant, and name of the country from where the plant was harvested.
Issued: October 15, 2009
The Lacey Act (16 U.S.C. 3371 et seq., the Act) as amended makes it unlawful to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce any plant, with some limited exceptions, taken or traded in violation of the laws of the United States, a U.S. State or a foreign country. On September 2, 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a revised enforcement phase in plan for the Act's requirement for a plant product import declaration (see 74 Fed. Reg. 45415 for details). The revised plan identifies a list of products and the associated Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) Chapter or Heading as to which the requirement for a Plant Product Declaration Form (PPQ 505) is anticipated to be enforced.
A declaration is required to obtain release of a covered product. Customs and Border Protection
As a reminder, providing false or misleading information to the U.S. government can result in civil or criminal actions against any involved party and may result in the seizure and forfeiture of the merchandise.
The most current information on implementation of the amended Lacey Act can be found on the USDA website.