US Customs announces important C-TPAT carrier criteria upgrades

WASHINGTON — Highway carriers wanting to join to the Can-Am security clearance program C-TPAT after this past March 13, 2006 will need to meet or exceed the security criteria before they will be “certified” and eligible for benefits, authorities announced.

Applications for new membership will only be accepted electronically, via the C-TPAT web-based online application for highway carriers (with the submission of a completed, comprehensive security-profile that is required at time of application), CBP says.

For existing C-TPAT member carriers, having completed and received the memorandum of agreement signed by CBP, a gradual, phased implementation approach will be followed which provides existing members more time to address the security measures outlined in the criteria. The components outlined in the security criteria document have been segmented into three distinct phases, each with their own timeline, CBP states.

New C-TPAT updates will be done in three phases by Customs

Phase 1- Hardening of the Physical Supply Chain:

Under the first phase, existing member highway carriers will have 60 days from the March 13, 2006 effective date to address the following three security areas: Conveyance Security (seals, trailer security, etc); Physical Access Controls (employees, visitors, etc) and Physical Security (fencing, lighting, parking, etc.)

Phase 2:

This part will address more internal and/or procedural elements. Specifically, under phase two, current members will have 120 days from the March 13 to ensure compliance with the following criteria: Personnel Security (background checks, employee hiring, etc); Procedural Security (documentation, manifesting procedures, etc.); Security Training and Threat Awareness; Less-Than Truck Load (LTL); Information Technology Security (passwords, FAST, etc.)

Phase 3:

Phase deals with the remaining, and more cumbersome, requirement of leveraging security throughout business partners. Specifically, under phase three highway carriers will have 180 days from the March 13, to ensure compliance with Business Partner Requirements.

“These C-TPAT member carriers will not be required to provide a written certification that the security criteria have been met, nor will previously submitted and accepted security profiles need to be resubmitted,” CBP sates. “It will be understood that highway carriers must meet or exceed these baseline security criteria by the end of each implementation phase. CBP will continue to use validations to gauge whether or not highway carriers have adopted these security criteria. Those highway carriers found to be deficient may have benefits suspended, or removed from the program entirely.”

Highway carriers failing to meet security criteria as evidenced through a validation, or from a resulting seizure due to compromised supply chain security, will be have their FAST program benefits immediately suspended.

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