Friday, September 25, 2009

Ask the Wizard: C-TPAT & Focused Assessments

Each Friday, the Wizard joins us to share an answer to one of the questions asked during the week. This week we had an excellent question about C-TPAT procedures.

Since CBP has started to inquire about C-TPAT during Focused Assessments, should we include C-TPAT procedures with our import compliance procedures?

Recently, importers that are not members of C-TPAT receiving Focused Assessments from CBP were required to complete Supply Chain Security Observation (”SCSO”) questionnaires. Although participation in C-TPAT has been voluntary, it appears that this addition to the FA might be an attempt to strongly encourage companies to join the program. Simply put, join or undergo more scrutiny on your FA. What does this mean for importers? If your company is a member of C-TPAT, then you don’t have much to worry about. You should already have the required procedures in place, and they are reviewed during revalidation. However, it might not hurt to cross-reference some of the applicable security procedures if your company has separate import and C-TPAT compliance manuals. If your company is not a member of C-TPAT, you may want to weigh the costs and benefits of joining. You should consider adding a global security section to your import compliance procedures. At the very least, you may want to invest in adopting some of the most important risk based procedures utilized by C-TPAT members. Click HERE to view information about a generic C-TPAT manual that can be used to customize procedures for importers at a reasonable cost.

Do you have a question for the Wizard? Submit your question by clicking on the link in the space for “Ask the Wizard.” See you next Friday!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for responding to this question. We will taking a look at our import manual to see where we might also reference the C-TPAT procedures and/or Security Manual.