When shipping internationally, safety is of the utmost importance. The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is a safety measure that the trade industry takes against terrorism. The program, which started in 2001, is a volunteer government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve international supply chain and U.S. border security. Companies can apply to be C-TPAT certified, and customs brokers must let clients know if they are certified or not. The C-TPAT provides an added feature to shipping internationally that gets your cargo to its destination quickly and safely.
How C-TPAT Works
When members of the trade community sign up to be a part of C-TPAT, they enjoy a variety of benefits that make the customs clearance process more effective. More importantly, membership in C-TPAT makes the customs clearance process safer. When the Customs and Border Protections (CBP) knows a particular company is C-TPAT certified, they can reduce the number of examinations. Another benefit includes front of the line inspections. C-TPAT Certification allows importers to take advantage of faster import processing with a secure supply chain. These benefits can be afforded to companies that are C-TPAT certified because the CBP knows that the company has put in the time and effort to make border security a top priority.
How AFC Utilizes C-TPAT
As a customs broker, AFC International conveys to our business partners that we are a C-TPAT member. Here at AFC International, safety is a top priority. All AFC employees have photo badges which control access to the building and restrict employees to areas specific to their responsibility. AFC managers verify that all documentation being received from our customers are complete, legible, accurate and submitted in a timely manner in accordance to U.S. Customs and Board Protecting regulations. We notify the CBP immediately if illegal activity is suspected.
How to Get C-TPAT Certified
C-TPAT is a voluntary program. A security risk assessment is done to see what kind of security risks the company faces. In addition to the assessment, a supply chain security profile must be completed. Once these steps are completed, a C-TPAT Supply Chain Security Specialist will regularly provide guidance to the company. It can take up to a year for certification.
AFC International is dedicated to ensuring safety to all of our clients in the customs clearance process. When shipping internationally, it is important to work with a customs broker that will guide you with safety on their mind. Here at AFC International, that’s what we do.
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