Koch: Carriers next in line for revised C-TPAT criteria
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, fresh from issuing tougher criteria for importers wishing to participate in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, will probably turn its attention to carriers next, Christopher Koch, president of the World Shipping Council said Tuesday.
C-TPAT is a voluntary supply chain security program that includes brokers, carriers, logistics providers, foreign manufacturers, port terminals and port authorities.
Koch, who is a member of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations to CBP and the Department of Homeland Security, said CBP will probably focus on moving from voluntary guidelines and best practices to stricter standards for carriers to follow. CBP issued its new C-TPAT criteria for importers in March.
Koch spoke at the National Industrial Transportation League’s Spring Policy Forum in Arlington, Va.
Although there have been calls from some quarters, including Capitol Hill, to make C-TPAT more accountable and mandate criteria for all companies, “there is a natural limitation about how far you can go,” Koch said, noting that the program leverages importers' relationships with foreign suppliers over which U.S. agencies have no jurisdiction to get improved security practices at the point of origin.
Koch said he expected Congress to hold hearings on C-TPAT in the near future.
“I think it’s made supply chains safer, but I can’t tell you how much safer,” he added.
Koch repeated previous statements that the Maritime Transportation Security Act and related International Ship and Port Security codes enforced by the Coast Guard lessens the need to overlay C-TPAT requirements on terminal and vessel operators.
“I would hope in the next reiteration (of C-TPAT) it will deal with some things the ISPS code doesn’t cover,” such as data filing, he said.