If you manufacture overseas and ship into the U.S.A, you may have a longer waiting time in Customs than you would prefer. Some of this waiting time could be eliminated by becoming part of the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), one layer of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
A faster lane through Customs is something that could make or break a due date on some orders, and by being C-TPAT validated it could just help you hit that order due date by receiving a shorter wait time in Customs.
C-TPAT started in November of 2001 as a way to identify security gaps, and protect the supply chain by implementing security measures in your facilities. It should be worth noting that C-TPAT is an entirely voluntary program that aids the U.S. Government in its war against terrorism.
What are some of the benefits of being a C-TPAT Partner? The CBP has a list here, but here is a short list below:
- Reduced number of CBP examinations
- Front of the line inspection
- Shorter wait lines at the boarder
- Business resumption priority following a natural disaster or terrorist attack
Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) Partner Requirements
Part of the partnership is not only identifying, assessing, and applying corrective actions to your security vulnerabilities to mitigate your risk, but to also do the same for your suppliers. Samtec has taken the initiative to implement all of the actions required to be considered a Tier Two partner, and assess its suppliers through onsite audits and an annual C-TPAT survey. Some of the areas that are assessed during the audit and survey are shown below:
- Assessment of the transportation providers
- If security seals are used; how they are stored / used
- How the containers are stored
- Assess the security of the assembly, packing, and loading areas
- How restricted areas are monitored
- How visitors are checked in
- Assess the overall security of the building; including guards, cameras, fences, etc
C-TPAT Partner Associated Costs
Becoming a partner does not involve any fees to sign up, but there may be some additional costs with keeping up on the requirements.
While all of this might just seem like another certification to keep up with, many of these questions are addressed in one way or another through different quality standards; perhaps not directly. If you implement everything correctly it will just become part of your normal mode of operations, and the overall benefits to your company could far surpass any additional time / cost it takes to become a C-TPAT Partner.
If you have any questions concerning Samtec’s C-TPAT Partnership then please contact C-TPAT@Samtec.com.
The Samtec C-TPAT Tier Two letter and SVI number can be viewed here.
If compliance is an area of interest for you, then make sure to check out the blog posts on Conflict Minerals, ITAR, and Counterfeit Parts.