Supply Chain Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection has Enhanced its Partnership with Import Trade Sectors by Challenges Remain in Verifying Security Practices
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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In response to our March 2005 recommendations and in accordance with the SAFE Port Act, CBP has strengthened its policies for granting benefits to importers C-TPAT s largest member sector and has efforts underway to improve its policies for granting benefits to C-TPAT members in other sectors. For example, between March 2005 and November 2007, CBP established requirements for C-TPAT members in nine trade sectors to meet minimum security criteria for their specific trade sector, including importers and C-TPAT members in eight trade sectors other than importers sea carriers highway carriers rail carriers air carriers foreign manufacturers U.S. customs brokers U.S. and foreign maritime port authorities and terminal operators and long haul highway carriers in Mexico. In addition, CBP is finalizing criteria for the one remaining trade sector freight consolidatorsocean transportation intermediaries and nonvessel operating common carriers and plans to issue the criteria by mid-2008. CBP has also introduced a tiered benefits process, as provided in the SAFE Port Act, for C-TPAT importers, which account for about 48 percent of C-TPAT s members. CBP awards importers benefits on a threetiered basis, depending in part on CBP s validation of the importers sustained commitment to implementing certain supply chain security practices. CBP has not established the tiered benefits structure for the other C-TPAT trade sectors about 52 percent of C-TPATs members. Rather, it grants these trade sectors certain benefits such as access to other C-TPAT members and attendance at CBP-sponsored security training upon their certification into the program. CBP officials told us that they interpret the benefit tiering provisions of the Safe Port Act to apply mainly to importers. Nevertheless, CBP has considered implementing tiered benefits for these other trade sectors, but it has not been able to identify additional benefits to offer nonimporters in a tiered structure.
- Government and Political Science