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Chemical companies largely unaware of C-TPAT security program

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. government has put a lot of effort into its voluntary C-TPAT security program, yet the...

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. government has put a lot of effort into its voluntary C-TPAT security program, yet the results from recent study suggest that effort is falling short in at least one key industry.

Nearly two-thirds of chemical industry executives recently surveyed by BDP International, a global logistics and
transportation services company, and its Centrx consulting unit were unaware of the U.S. Government’s Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism (C- TPAT) program and its similarities to existing Responsible Care standards.

Nearly 44% of respondents were unaware of C-TPAT and of those who were, more than 37% were unaware of its similarities to the chemical industry’s Responsible Care program. On a combined basis, 64% of total respondents
were unaware of similarities between C-TPAT and Responsible Care.

Significantly, more than 90% of the respondents who were aware of C-TPAT felt it was important to align their organizations with its initiatives. However, of those who felt alignment was important, only 44% were able to identify a function, job title or department within their companies that would be accountable for coordinating C-TPAT and Responsible Care.

The data suggests the need for more initiatives on the part of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and associations such as the American Chemistry Council to educate the industry about the similarities of these
programs and perhaps even partner with chemical companies to expedite their integration, said Michael Ford, BDP’s vice president for regulatory compliance.

“These findings suggest there is ample opportunity for the chemical industry to merge Responsible Care and C-TPAT in the interest of supply chain efficiency as well as security, ” added Ford. “Although participating in the C-TPAT program is not mandatory, if your suppliers and customers are, it behooves you to get on board.

Of the respondents who could identify where responsibility for coordinating Responsible Care and C-TPAT would lie, 24% assigned it to supply chain management, 22% to international transportation/logistics and 25% to safety
and security. Moreover, 90% of these respondents reported that their companies are undertaking specific measures to integrate Responsible Care and C-TPAT into policies, programs and procedures.

The survey was conducted in November.

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