BTAÆs C-TPAT prescription
The Border Trade Alliance, in a position paper published in September, offered more than a dozen recommendations to improve the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and deliver more return on investment for members:
' Concerned about the length of time to release cargo and wait times to reach the customs booth, the pro-trade group asked Customs and Border Protection to show data on wait times for both Free And Secure Trade lanes and non-FAST lanes at each bridge crossing on the northern and southern borders. Clearance times may be improving, but industry groups are not convinced the improvement is related to C-TPAT.
' Ensure C-TPAT members receive priority when containers or trucks need to be stripped for a physical inspection at the exam station.
' Meet with industry to determine which land ports suffer the most from co-mingling of C-TPAT and non-C-TPAT traffic and develop solutions to expedite cargo movement for members. Infrastructure limitations often restrict C-TPAT members from utilizing dedicated FAST lanes or receiving front-of-the-line treatment for non-intrusive inspections.
' Provide participating companies with more information on business partners that belong to C-TPAT. Members can look up if a supplier is C-TPAT certified, but without any history into their compliance performance.
' Provide automatic notice if trade partners' membership status changes.
' Take steps to ensure greater consistency by supply chain specialists grading companies for their certification or renewal.
' Make the C-TPAT Web portal more user friendly.