CBP publishes catalog of supply chain security best practices
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has completed its catalog of best practices designed to help guide companies to meet or exceed minimum security requirements for imported cargo, and plans to begin distributing copies to the trade community in March.
The booklet gives examples of steps taken by ocean, air and motor carriers, logistics companies, suppliers and importers who voluntarily participate in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism to ensure they and their business partners have secure supply chains. The catalog, which is the byproduct of lessons picked up during nearly 1,400 on-site validations of corporate security practices conducted by the agency so far, is scheduled to be made available at the C-TPAT Security Seminar, March 1-3 in Costa Mesa, Calif.
CBP had originally tried to complete the document for the Customs Trade Symposium in November.
CBP defines a “best practice” as a security measure that exceeds C-TPAT criteria, incorporates management support, is governed by written policies and procedures, employees a system of checks and balances and has a system in place to ensure continuity.
The agency emphasized that many security goals can be met with low-tech, manual processes that are affordable to smaller companies.
Advance copies of the catalog were provided to industry representatives on CBP’s Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations, or COAC, earlier this month.
Here is a sample of some of the security measures CBP says can be copied to help a company gain credit as a trusted shipper whose cargo is subject to fewer inspections, according to a copy of the manual provided to Shippers NewsWire:
* An ocean carriers uses canine patrols and carbon dioxide detectors to search for stowaways on vessels at each port of call before sailing.
* A trucking company president provides breakfast to his dispatchers and drivers on Saturday and uses the time to provide training and discuss transportation security. The president documents topics discussed and employees who attended, and informs absent employees about the material.
* A company posts risk analysis and threat assessments for its markets on its corporate intranet in order to inform buyers, logistics managers and security personnel about the necessary levels of security to protect corporate assets and shipments.
* A freight forwarder requires that the U.S. importer of record introduce all new shippers and will not do business with unknown entities.
* A motor carrier has an employee stationed at the border to monitor arrival times. If there is a significant unexplained time variance, the employee will contact CBP to flag the shipment for a courtesy examination.
* A motor carrier monitors communications between the driver, dispatcher and receptionist to detect internal conspiracies. The carrier also rotates dispatcher assignments and administrative staff to prevent collusion.
* A factory takes a digital picture of the back of the container before the doors are closed and sealed. After the container is sealed, digital pictures are taken of the seal and all sides of the container. The pictures are transmitted to the port terminal operator and the distribution center in the United States.