CBP Training Event in San Diego Teaches Industry to Secure Cargo from Threats, Vulnerabilities
San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials hosted training seminars in San Diego this week for 1,200 participants in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, or C-TPAT program.
The seminars gathered participants from across the U.S. and internationally to review security best practices for protecting cargo shipments from threats from terrorists and other transnational criminal organizations.
C-TPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative that allows CBP to work with the industry members that makes up our global supply chain. The program recognizes that CBP can provide the highest level of cargo security only through close cooperation with the ultimate owners of the international supply chain, such as importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers. Through this initiative, CBP is asking businesses to ensure the integrity of their security practices and communicate and verify the security guidelines of their business partners within the supply chain.
Participants have an interest in making sure their cargo is protected from all threats from the time it is in a foreign country, through transit, until it reaches the borders of the United States for inspection. CBP has an interest in extending strong security practices well beyond the borders of the United States. By working together on security efforts, CBP can also help participating companies by providing expedited processing once their cargo reaches the border of the U.S.
"Trade facilitation and border security are complementary, not competing, objectives," said CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin. "C-TPAT allows CBP to gain even greater information about the cargo arriving into the United States, helping us segment high-risk and low-risk shipments. This in turn allows us to speed legitimate trade through the inspection process so we can concentrate CBP's inspection resources and capabilities on higher risk shipments."
This year marks the ten year anniversary of the C-TPAT program, which launched in 2001 with just seven companies, all major importers. Ten years later, more than 10,000 companies are enrolled, representing not just importers, but also other critical players in the global supply chain including importers, customs brokers, terminal operators, carriers and foreign manufacturers. Since the beginning, the guiding principles for C-TPAT have been voluntary participation and jointly developed security criteria, best practices and implementation procedures.
In San Diego, the training seminar consisted of significant program updates, joint CBP/trade presentations, and panel discussions. The seminar also included two days of break-out workshop sessions on a variety of topics, with 600 participants attending the workshops on Tuesday, and 600 participants attending workshops on Thursday.
This year's seminars included topics such as: conducting a supply chain security risk assessment; evidence of implementation/documentation; suspensions and removals; CBP risk indicators; developing a security training & awareness program; and proactive approaches to security breach prevention.
Registration for the seminar was free for any C-TPAT certified or validated companies, but limited to two employees per company. With such high interest from industry members, CBP quickly filled the 1,200 maximum slots available in San Diego this year.