The C-TPAT program is:
- A Requirement for the Free and Secure Trade (“FAST”) program. The FAST program is a bilateral initiative between the United States and Canada, and between the United States and Mexico designed to ensure security and safety. Two of the benefits of FAST are:A) Using dedicated lanes for greater speed and efficiency in the clearance of FAST transborder shipments.
B) Reducing the number of examinations.
- A Marketing Tool. Many firms that import cargo into the U.S. now require their Canadian and Mexican highway carriers to be C-TPAT Certified. They will no longer do business with those firms that are not C-TPAT Members. Many Canadian and Mexican Highway carriers have already joined the C-TPAT program and are enjoying the benefits.
Canadian and Mexican Highway Carriers can join the C-TPAT program if:
- The carrier is an active U.S./Canadian or U.S./Mexican Highway Carrier that transports cargo that is being imported into the United States; and
- They have a business office staffed in the U.S. or Canada or Mexico; and
- They have an active U.S. National Motor Freight Traffic Association issued Standard Carrier Alpha Code in format.
Norman Jaspan Associates, Inc. has worked with numerous highway carriers in joining the C-TPAT program. These highway carriers include those that have one facility, as well as those with hundreds of facilities.
The first step in becoming a C-TPAT member is to determine which of your company’s facilities need to be focused on, based upon the specifics of your company’s operation.
In order to determine your company’s exposure, we must review:
- The border crossings that are utilized
- The parties responsible for transporting cargo from Canada and/or Mexico to the U.S. (Eg: Your company’s drivers, independent owner/operators, sub-contracted highway carriers)
Next, we will review:
- The chain-of-custody (from the point of origin in the foreign country, to the final destination in the U.S.)
- The seal procedures and requirements (proper seal)
- Driver tracking / Accountability
- Trailer storage / Physical security
- Hiring process / Background checks
- Due Diligence prior to doing business with a new business partner
- Due Diligence prior to doing business with a new customer
- The security-related obligations of any sub-contracted highway carriers.
Given our experience and our rapport with CBP Security Specialists, we are able to determine which of your facilities, and which of your foreign business partners’ facilities will most probably be visited during the validation phase and the re-validation phase.