Whether it is personal or professional, security remains a significant concern for everyone. Protecting the belongings and the personal data from breaches, security has become imperative to safeguard your interests. There are plenty of security programs around the world that are meant for different purposes. If you are engaged in the supply chain, you must be acquainted with the term Customs-Trade Partnerships against Terrorism or C-TPAT.
It is a voluntary security program for the supply chain led by U.S. Customs and Border Protection or CBP. It is focused on enhancing the security apparatus in the supply chains of the companies on the ground of terrorism. C-TPAT helps government and private business companies to add more security to supply chains. It has become imperative to all businesses in the U.S. to get certified C-TPAT security seals in order to strengthen their supply chain and contribute to the U.S. border security.
There are around thousand certified partners of C-TPAT and half of them are importers. The security initiative was started for the U.S. imports via air carriers, cross border carriers, marine port, consolidators, oceanic carriers, terminal operators, and third-party logistics carriers. Every business should have C-TPAT certification in the U.S. to harness the security seal and strengthen U.S. border security.
How C-TPAT Works?
When a company gets C-TPAT, an agreement is created in compliance with the CBP. In this agreement, the company receives a certification from the CBP to protect the supply chain, detect the security gap, deploy security measures, and practices. The applicants (companies) who are applying for the C-TPAT must present a wide range of security areas that they need to cover.
They also need to showcase the security profiles comprising of the action plans that align with the security of the supply chains. Companies who are C-TPAT certified are considered in the low-risk barrier and often less examined at the U.S. entry ports.
Why Should A Company Become C-TPAT Certified?
There are plenty of reasons why certified C-TPAT seals have become a must-have supply chain certification. When you move products across the border, there are plenty of risks that you put your company and country in. C-TPAT places the legal obligation on the companies to deploy security practices in the supply chain with a significant aim to ensure the safety of the goods that are entering and leaving the country. Though C-TPAT is a voluntary practice, many reasons make this certification a must.
- Companies will get a dedicated supply chain specialist along with access to educational resources
- Enjoy faster transport of the goods that involve shorter waiting time on the border, accessibility to FAST (Free and Secure Trade) lanes at Canada and Mexico borders, and less CBP examinations.
- Special consideration during the time of emergency such as national disaster, or terrorist attack.
- There will be lower fines imposed on the companies. For instance, the penalty for error in Import Security Filing will be 50% less than the standard fine.
- More business opportunities and possibilities to expand the horizons. This gives a competitive edge to the company for enhancing brand image.
- Complete site, personnel and data security that covers both internal and external system.
- Eligibility for Self Assessment Program that helps in getting removed from the Focused Assessment.
- Importers get targeting benefits with the CBP targeting system.
- The implementation of good security practices in the logistical management.
- Improves purchase, integration, transportation processes.
- Companies can reduce the chances of cargo theft and pilferage and enjoy the better brand name protection along with enhancing the security of the workforce.
The Bottom Line
After the 9/11 terrorist attack, the U.S. was concerned about border security. It was after the attack that U.S. customs and Border security formed Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism (C-TPAT) for international supply chain protection. CBP implements various security practices to safeguard the goods traded along with protecting the U.S. borders.
It is a voluntary certification that companies must take in order to ensure the security of their supply chain and contribute to border security. The above mentioned were some common reasons why certified C-TPAT seals have become a must-have certification for the U.S. companies involved in trading.