U.S. importers with supply chains originating in China are now one step closer to obtaining full C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) benefits. In a March 24 news release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the start of a pilot validation program in China. Under the program, CBP officials will be allowed into China to verify the security practices of Chinese suppliers affiliated with C-TPAT certified importers.
Until now, the Chinese government had been reluctant to allow CBP to perform validations. Since validation is required in order to reap the full rewards of C-TPAT membership (such as fewer container inspections), U.S. importers with supply chains based in China had no way to advance their C-TPAT membership status to a higher level.
Three C-TPAT certified companies, all U.S. importers and all with supply chains that originate in China, have volunteered to participate in the pilot program.
If the program is successful, it could lead to large scale CBP validations in China.
Since 2003, CBP has performed validations in 79 countries.