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A Message From CTPAT Director Manuel A. Garza

May 1, 2020

Dear CTPAT Members,

During these days of uncertainty, the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) program wants you to know that we are here for you and working through these challenging times.  Once again, the world has changed as we know it, and the way we conduct business and live our personal lives will need to adapt to the current environment until the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.

Our jobs, business models, and economic situations have been affected in some way, thus causing a strain to our normal day-to-day activities.  Rest assured, CTPAT understands the current situation and how it is affecting disruptions in the supply chains and how the Ports of Entry must adjust to the ever changing Government mandates and priorities.

We, at CTPAT, are still providing critical daily services for our CTPAT partners, internal and external stakeholders, regarding the importation and exportation of merchandise.

  • Our CTPAT staff has taken part in various CBP Port status briefings, to identify certain trends specific to CBP Ports of Entry you may frequent when importing cargo into the United States. 
  • While 2020 validations have currently ceased due to COVID-19, CTPAT is working diligently to explore alternative options that will ensure the continuity and security of the validation process. 
  • To provide CTPAT partners with more flexibility during this unprecedented time, CTPAT has established a process that now provides the submission of suspension/removal appeals via email, (ctpatappeals@cbp.dhs.gov) not just through postal mail.  
  • The CTPAT Portal continues to receive updates and bug fixes as well as receive incremental deployments to ensure a smooth transition of our new security profile.
  • ITRAC data for CTPAT Trade Compliance partners has been uploaded into the CTPAT Portal and the Help Desk continues to operate during these tough times to address your CTPAT Portal needs.

We would also like to reiterate a few helpful hints for our partners.

  • Please keep us informed of any issues that may significantly impact or compromise the reliability of your company’s supply chain, including notifying your SCSS of any security breaches or incidents.
  • Examine your company’s risk assessment and business continuity plan to determine if adjustments need to be made to address the current trade environment. 
  • Continue to communicate with your assigned SCSS to discuss any concerns related to your membership and provide updates on any outstanding items. 
  • Periodically check the CTPAT Portal or the CTPAT website at www.cbp.gov/CTPAT for any updates relating to the new Minimum Security Criteria (last updated March 2020), eligibility requirements, helpful resources, and frequently asked questions (FAQ’s).
  • Visit https://imports.cbp.gov/ for additional information and guidance on CBP COVID-19 relief efforts.
  • If you are a CTPAT Trade Compliance Member, please continue to communicate with your National Account Manager (NAM).
  • For assistance regarding the CTPAT Trade Compliance portal transition for current ISA members, please feel free to send an email to ctpattradecompliance@cbp.dhs.gov.

It is understandable you may have various questions regarding CTPAT specifically as it currently relates to your individual supply chains and the continuation of program mandates and benefits. CTPAT is committed to serving its partners to the best of our ability, even under these times of uncertainty.

If you have CTPAT issues or questions, you may reach out to your assigned SCSS/office manager or contact one of the six CTPAT Field Offices by email at:

Buffalo, New York ctpatfieldofficebuffalo@cbp.dhs.gov

Houston, Texas ctpatfieldofficehouston@cbp.dhs.gov

Los Angeles, California ctpatfieldofficelosangeles@cbp.dhs.gov

Miami, Florida ctpatfieldofficemiami@cbp.dhs.gov

New York, New York ctpatfieldofficenewyork@cbp.dhs.gov

Newark, New Jersey c-tpatfieldoffice-newark@cbp.dhs.gov  

Lastly, CTPAT is currently working with the University of Houston to conduct an in-depth assessment of the CTPAT Program. The primary goals of this project are to identify trouble areas in need of improvement, better understand the program’s successful accomplishments and build upon them in the future, identify cost-benefit enhancements for industry members and for the CTPAT Program, and establish new or build upon existing program performance metrics. The assessment will cover the validation process, IT challenges, the New Minimum-Security Criteria, and the Trade Compliance Program. To accomplish this, the University of Houston will be conducting a broad survey of CTPAT.  To ensure that the survey resonates with the program as best as possible, we are seeking volunteer stakeholders from a range of entity types to assist in preparing and testing the survey questions before they are sent to all partners later this summer. If you are interested in participating, please feel free to contact CTPATStudy@ct-strategies.com.

In conclusion, CTPAT understands the unique situations your company may be dealing with and how it may affect your participation in the CTPAT program.  Therefore, various program deadlines will be taken into consideration and adjusted on a case-by-case basis.  However, it is imperative that you contact your assigned SCSS before they become significant.

Please stay safe and healthy and we will get through this together.  Thank you for your continued dedication and commitment to the CTPAT program.

 

Manuel A. Garza, Jr.

Director

CTPAT

Office of Field Operations

Last modified: 
May 1, 2020