Customs Commissioner Bonner Proposes C-TPAT Benefits Plan Planned Benefits Outlined on Customs Website
Speaking to an audience of C-TPAT members on April 21, 2005 in Miami, FL, Commissioner Bonner proposed a plan of benefits to C-TPAT members. Included in his proposal would be a policy of no routine inspections of shipments for C-TPAT members who use container security devices such as the Smart Box, are certified and validated, and who have adopted the best industry practices for securing their supply chain. His remarks can be viewed on the Customs website at:
In an interview with Florida Shipper before the speech, Commissioner Bonner said that shippers, carriers, forwarders and warehouses that implement strict "best practices" and undergo Customs verification of their supply chain security "will be part of a 'third tier'... whose benefits will be, in my mind, the green lane". Several aspects of the "best practices" requirements were outlined by Bonner, including employing a smart box container, owning the secure supply chain, selecting C-TPAT verified carriers, and may include routing shipments through a CSI port. Bonner added that this last requirement is not certain, but "we are now in 36 foreign ports, the largest ports in the world, this can now be done."
Bonner spoke of three tiers of C-TPAT participation. The first tier involves presenting a written supply chain security plan to Customs, which when approved, results in certification of the business by Customs.
After initial certification, Customs agents will check on foreign components of the plan, including limited access, on-duty security personnel, employment screening and proper paperwork.
The third tier of C-TPAT involves the use of smart containers with anti-tamper technology, carriers that are Customs-validated, and export from CSI ports. This will provide a "green lane" for these approved C-TPAT members to clear goods through US Customs without inspection in the near future, according to Commissioner Bonner.