Federal Government Looks to Expand C-TPAT Participation and Benefits

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On April 14, 2011, Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) introduced a bill that would reauthorize and increase funding for the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program, the Container Security Initiative and the Automated Targeting System. This is just one facet of a multi-front governmental effort to increase industry awareness and participation in C-TPAT.

C-TPAT is a voluntary cooperative program between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the trade community. It is designed to strengthen U.S. border security by having importers actively work to ensure the integrity of their own security practices as well as the security practices of their partners in the international supply chain. In return, CBP offers certain benefits to its C-TPAT members, including reduced CBP border inspections, “front of the line” privileges for container examinations, faster business resumption in the event of a disruption in the flow of trade, and eligibility for the Importer Self-Assessment program, which allows an importer to selfpolice its import activities in lieu of being targeted for CBP audits.

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