Cap Intl, Inc. is a Partner in C-TPAT and is Committed in the Fight Against Terrorism

Team Up To Fight Terrorism

Join the efforts in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), a voluntary partnership between U.S. Customs and private companies in the fight against terrorism. It all started back in November 2001, just 2 months after the events of September 11th. The effort was created to protect and keep the U.S. border secure.

We’ll need your help if we’re going to protect ourselves. Protecting your business is a good way to start. When your business signs the partnership agreement you give Customs the right to make sure your security is up to par. So you’ll want to update your company’s security profiles every year and participate in their Annual Security Profile Review. Doing this proves your company’s security is tip-top and up to speed. Plus, having Customs visit your company gives you the chance to talk about any security issues and share what’s been working.

Reasons To Join

There are plenty of benefits to becoming a C-TPAT partner.

  • Cargo Checks
    Expect less of these if you’re one of us. If you’re not, you’re six times more likely to be boarded because of a trade of security examination. Fewer exams mean less delay and since time is money, it also means savings for you.
  • Free and Secure Trade (FAST)
    Think of it as the carpool lane on the highway of importing for members. Even if there’s a complaint on your shipment, it gets fast-lane access coming in from Canada or Mexico. Designated lanes that give you special treatment when your shipment is examined are set up at several boarders. This can save you a ton of time, plus, it’s a great marketing tool. It shows potential customers that you’re one of the good guys and your security is on the up and up with C-TPAT.
  • The Good Doesn’t Have To Suffer For The Bad
    It’s another way you can save by joining up. See, you may have an entry that needs to be examined with a bunch of line items when only one of them is in question. That usually meant multiple containers being held because of one item, while they all sat collecting storage costs. But if you’re with C-TPAT you can move any container that doesn’t have the item in question.
  • Feel Free To Cut In Line.
    If one of your container shipments is unlucky enough to get picked for an inspection it gets to move ahead of any non C-TPAT partner shipments waiting to be checked no matter how long they’ve been waiting. So despite the container having to be checked, it gets processed quicker than those of non-members.
  • Pick Up Right Where You Left Off
    You can avoid any hiccups whenever things are halted or slowed because the communication lines are kept open with: the CBP, with stakeholders and with the trade community, to get things rolling again as soon as shipment processes are resumed.
  • Image Is Everything
    You can raise your company’s reputation and ability to secure business by just being a partner. Every company needs to maintain their reputation and value as a brand. Partners involved in the international supply chain have been known to improve their overall image through C-TPAT membership.
  • Take Your Company Worldwide
    Going international also gives you great benefits. When you go global foreign Customs can then use your company’s information in their own risk management calculations, which can mean less unnecessary violations for you. Becoming internationally recognized will result in end-to-end supply chain security.
  • The Fight Against Terrorism
    Let’s not forget the most obvious reason to join us, helping to prevent terrorism. Probably the benefit with the most appeal, it gives your company the power to go the extra mile by working with the CBP to improve international supply chain security and prevent any possibilities of a stiff blow to the economy.

More Benefits for Joining

  • Your own Supply Chain Security Specialist (SCSS) so you can talk about security issues.
  • Offer your opinion about doing more with C-TPAT program.
  • Invitations to C-TPAT training and seminars like the annual C-TPAT symposium giving you opportunities to network with other C-TPAT members.
  • Access to web based C-TPAT Portal system and “Public Library” of training materials and information.

What You Have To Do If You’re a C-TPAT Importer

Your international supply chains have to go through evaluations based on a lot of different security criteria. If you outsource or use outside contractors in your supply chain like a warehouse or some other facility, make sure they have the right security measures in place and that they’re following them throughout the supply chain. Since some international supply chains can be pretty complex, you may be able to base your security on the risks you’re likely to face. This will give your security plan the flexibility it needs to be adjusted to your business model.

If you’re an eligible business partner, your importer needs proof of you’re C-TPAT certification. Importers’ business partners need to give written or electronic confirmation they’re meeting the necessary standards. Importers: you’ll need to verify any partners not eligible for C-TPAT. You’re also responsible for making sure your business partners have the appropriate security with a review process in place. You’ll need to know if a current or prospective business partner is certified in a foreign Customs supply chain security.

Other Things To Keep In Mind

If you’re an importer It’s important to pay attention to internal requirements like financial soundness, meeting contractual requirements, and being able to identify security problems. These requirements should be measured by internal management and based on risk.

U.S.-bound containers should be kept safe and secure. Their door locks should be in tact and in good working condition, with methods in place for verifying this before filling them. The recommended process includes a seven-point inspection that checks every wall and side of the container. Every container needs to use the proper sealing methods—a high security seal that meets or exceeds standards. Each one needs to have attached written instructions explaining how to spot a bad seal, and what to do if a seal is broken.

Maintain employee and visitor control by making sure all employees, visitors, and vendors are positively identified at all points of entry before they’re let in. Ask all visitors to show photo ID and note it in a log upon their arrival. Visitors and vendors should also be escorted and visibly display their temporary ID.

Issuing and disposing all identification badges for employees, visitors and vendors, all of which have to be properly documented, are management or security’s responsibility. Plans of action need to be in place in the event of an unauthorized, unidentified person as well as methods on how to spot one and what to do.

Screening methods should be in place for checking prospective employees and current ones. Before employment can start, application information should be verified and background checks should be done. Once employed, periodic checks and reinvestigations should be done, depending on the sensitivity of the employee’s position and as needed. Procedures should be in place for disposing identification, facility, and system access for anyone who’s fired.

All information used for clearing merchandise or cargo has to be legible, complete and accurate, including computer access and information safeguards. Any incoming cargo has to be compared against the cargo manifest’s information. It should accurately describe and verify the cargo’s weight, labels, marks and number of pieces. All drivers need to be positively identified before cargo can be released to them. All shortages, overages, and other significant errors should be resolved and/or investigated. Customs or the appropriate law enforcement should be notified of any suspicious or illegal activity.

Security and Training

In order to recognize a terrorist threat at any point in the supply chain, your security personnel has to develop and maintain some kind of threat awareness program. Employees in shipping and receiving, as well as those receiving and opening mail, should be given extra training; while specific training should be given on maintaining cargo, recognizing internal problems, and regulating access. All employees should be trained and educated on how to report a situation and incentives should be given to those who actively participate.

Physical Security

Cargo and storage facilities need to have physical barriers guarding against unwanted access. Fences should surround cargo and storage facilities; with interior fencing separating domestic, international, high value and hazardous cargo. All fencing should be inspected regularly in case of damage.

Manned or monitored gates, with the number of gates being kept to the minimum necessary, have to be in place for giving vehicles and personnel access. Private passenger vehicles should be prohibited from parking in or next to cargo handling and storage areas.

Buildings, of course, need to be properly maintained, pass inspection and be able to resist unlawful entry. All external and internal windows, gates and fences must be securely locked. Management or security personnel have to control all lock and key distributions.

Facilities need to have adequate lighting both inside and outside, including: entrances, exits, cargo handling areas, storage areas, fence lines and parking areas. Grounds should be monitored with alarm systems and video surveillance cameras to prevent unauthorized access to cargo handling and storage areas.

Systems for spotting IT abuse should also be in place. Automated systems should use individually assigned accounts with occasional mandatory password resets. Employee procedures for training in IT security policies and standards should be in place, making sure all violators are subject to appropriate actions. Violations would include unauthorized access and altering business data.

We Can Help You to Join C-TPAT

Cap International can help you with your C-TPAT application by assigning you one of our expert C-TPAT agents. For a C-TPAT Security link portal online application, visit this website http://www.ncausa.org/files/public/CTPAT.pdf.

If you need help or have questions Call us at (832-649-4392) or email us at logistics@capcustomsbroker.com

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