Border agencies have been on high alert since the terrorist activities of September 11, 2001. The twin challenges they now face are to ensure security at the border whilecontinuing to enable the legitimate flow of people and goods, vital to the well being of businesses and the economy.
The Canadian and U.S. governments have each introduced a voluntary program in order to strengthen the international supply chain and improve border security.
Canada: Partners in Protection (PIP) is a cooperative program between private industry and the CBSA aimed at enhancing border and trade chain security. It is designed to make border processes more efficient for low-risk, pre-approved businesses recognized as “trusted traders.”
U.S.: The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is a also voluntary public-private sector partnership program which aims to forge close cooperation between CBP and the principal stakeholders of the international supply chain in order to achieve the highest level of cargo security.
All partners in the supply chain – importers, exporters, brokers, carriers and manufacturers – can participate in these programs.
What can you do?
It’s recommended that anyone involved in the supply chain take part in these initiatives in order to access their many benefits. In addition to the comfort that comes with knowing you’re part of a secure supply chain, being a partner in these initiatives means:
- Being given priority processing as a trusted trader when you arrive at the border, saving you time.
- Having a reduced risk score at the border, meaning fewer examinations.
- Eligibility to apply for other programs (e.g. FAST, NEXUS) to further expedite border clearance.
- Mutual recognition with similar programs in other countries (e.g. New Zealand, Jordan, Japan, Korea, EU, Taiwan, Mexico, Singapore).
- Fewer delays, greater certainty and a trusted reputation, meaning savings for your business in time and money.
What is involved?
- Both the Canadian and U.S. programs offer an online application process. Visit the websites linked above for more information on the process and to initiate an application.
- Your role may include some homework, for example, evaluating security processes, creating policies, training employees, etc., but the benefits will outweigh the up-front effort needed to join.
- Customs agencies can assist where needed – working directly with you in the application process and conducting site visits in advance of your joining the program.
Safety and security in the supply chain aren’t achieved by chance. Do your part by becoming an active member in these cooperative border programs.
We have offices and professional staff located in Canada and the U.S. and can help you through the application process, and also assist in reviewing your security processes, creating security policies, and managing your membership in these programs. For more information, visit our website and subscribe to our blog, or...
Information provided by: Customs Consulting Dept. - Cole International