Update: H.R. 3551: C-TPAT Reauthorization Bill

On September 25, 2017, the House Homeland Security Committee favorably reported a bill concerning C-TPAT to the House of Representatives. This bill, H.R. 3551, would reauthorize the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program (C -TPAT) which has not been reauthorized in its 11-year history. The bill was introduced by Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona. If passed, a number of changes will be put in place reflecting current global security concerns and trade conditions.

Some of the changes that the bill calls for are as follows:

1. Each C-TPAT participant must designate a company employee (not a contractor or third-party) to hold the participant accountable for managing participation in the program.

2. The bill would require CBP (in consultation with industry) to review the C-TPAT minimum security criteria at least every two years, making updates as needed.

3. CBP would be required to put in place additional security procedures for certain categories of participants, individual participants, and specific entities in order to focus closely on security vulnerabilities.

4. The bill would extend eligibility to participate in C-TPAT to exporters, importers, freight forwarders, customs brokers, air carriers, ocean carriers, land carriers, and contract logistics providers.

5. The bill establishes C-TPAT as the authorized economic operator program to grant CBP the latitude and flexibility to improve and expand its trusted trader program as needed.

Suzanne DeCuir, Global Trade Expertise

CBP to Make C-TPAT Available to Exporters May 17, 2015

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will make the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) available to exporters starting May 17, 2015. According to CBP, potential benefits of being a C-TPAT-certified exporter will include prioritized export shipments, global security partnerships, heightened facilitation from mutually-recognized customs partners, access to C-TPAT sponsored security seminars, and reduced examinations of shipments.

According to CBP, “any person or company who, as the principal party in interest in the export transaction, has the power and responsibility for determining and controlling the sending of the items out of the United States” and satisfies the additional eligibility requirements can now apply to become C-TPAT certified as an “export-only” organization. Among the list of eligibility requirements are the following chief components: the exporter must be actively exporting and maintain an office based in the United States, maintain a documented export security program meeting all the C-TAPT criteria, and have a good compliance record in accordance with requirements.

The new availability to export-only companies follows one day after CBP’s Phase II deployment for the C-TPAT portal. The deployment will restructure the security profile function into individual line items, streamline applications to U.S. partnership programs, add functionality, and meet DHS mandated requirements. The new design will give users greater flexibility and security in maintaining and updating their accounts.

Aaron Ambrite, Extern, Global Trade Expertise