U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provided a 60-day extension as part of their “Agency Information Collection Activities” requesting comments on the CTPAT and Trusted Program.

CBP will be submitting the information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). The PRA changed many aspects of Information Collection by the Federal government. requiring agencies to plan for the development of new collections of information and the extension of ongoing collections well in advance of sending proposals to OMB. Agencies must:

  • Seek public comment on proposed collections of information through “60-day notices” in the Federal Register;
  • Certify to OMB that efforts have been made to reduce the burden of the collection on small businesses, local government and other small entities, and
  • Have in place a process for independent review of information collection requests prior to submission to OMB.

Comments are encouraged and must be submitted (no later than May 20, 2019) to be assured of consideration. Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice must include the OMB Control Number 1651-0077 in the subject line and the agency name.

What Should Your Written Comment Include?

Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:

  1. Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  2. the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  3. suggestions to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  4. suggestions to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the request for approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

 What is CTPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism)?

The Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (also known as CTPAT) is a voluntary security program designed to safeguard the world’s trade industry from terrorists and smugglers by prescreening its participants (U.S. importers, customs brokers, consolidators, port and terminal operators, carriers, and foreign manufacturers). CTPAT is part of a multi-layered cargo enforcement strategy. CBP works with the trade community (which involves the trade communities detailed analysis, measurement, monitoring, reporting, and enhancement of their supply chains) in order to strengthen international supply chains and improve United States border security. CTPAT is a voluntary public-private sector partnership program and the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 provided a statutory framework for CTPAT and imposed program oversight requirements.

How does CTPAT Work?

When an entity joins CTPAT, an agreement is made to work with CBP to protect the supply chain, identify security gaps, and implement specific security measures and best practices. Applicants must address a broad range of security topics and present both a company and a security profile that includes the companies process to align security throughout its supply chain. CTPAT members are considered to be of low risk and are therefore less likely to be examined at a U.S. port of entry.

What are CTPAT Partner’s Benefits:

  • Reduced number of CBP examinations.
  • Front of the line inspections.
  • Possible exemption from Stratified Exams.
  • Shorter wait times at the border.
  • Assignment of a Supply Chain Security Specialist to the company.
  • Access to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Lanes at the land borders.
  • Access to the CTPAT web-based Portal system and a library of training materials.
  • Possibility of enjoying additional benefits by being recognized as a trusted trade.
  • Partner by foreign Customs administrations that have signed Mutual Recognition with the United States.
  • Eligibility for other U.S. Government pilot programs, such as the Food and Drug Administration’s Secure Supply Chain program.
  • Business resumption priority following a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
  • Importer eligibility to participate in the Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA).
  • Priority consideration at CBP’s industry-focused Centers of Excellence and Expertise.

 Which business can participate in CTPAT?

U.S. importers, customs brokers, consolidators, port and terminal operators, carriers, and foreign manufacturers are all welcome to apply for membership in the CTPAT program.

What is the Application Process for CTPAT? 

The online application process consists of the following steps (when you review these, think of what can be improved to include in your comment!):

  • Review the CTPAT “Minimum Security Criteria” to determine eligibility for the program.
  • Submit a basic application with your company profile via the CTPAT Portal.
  • Complete a more detailed supply chain security profile.

 Comments to CBP should be detailed around what information collected via the supply chain security profile are NOT necessary to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

What is the Trusted Trader Program?

The Trusted Trader program combines the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) and Importer Self Assessment (ISA) or trade compliance programs (making ISA extinct), as well as includes Partner Government Agencies (PGA)s.  The announcement of the Trusted Trader pilot program was made on June 16, 2014. Since, then, the trade community has been advised that companies like Apple, Toyota, VLM Foods, and Rico were some of the participants in the Trusted Trader Pilot Program. The trusted trader program has not yet been officially rolled out. We have been advised that there will be a phased implementation of security measure requirements with feedback from trade industry (and we will keep you updated as we hear more). 

What Next?

 Contact DTL TODAY at 305-456-3830 or info@diaztradelaw.com to start drafting your comment or to start your application to join CTPAT.