R.G. Edmonson | Mar 4, 2011 8:55PM GMT

The Journal of Commerce Online – News Story

Antiterrorism partnership counts more than 10,000 members

Participation in the Customs-Trade Partnership grew at an average rate of 7.5 percent per year for the past three years, said U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Nine years after it became one of the first tools in Customs’ antiterrorism arsenal, C-TPAT remains healthy and growing, the agency reports. Data released this week show that membership in the program is 10,082. The largest portion of members are importers with 4,401 certified, followed by 2,827carriers, and 1,109 foreign manufacturers.

Customs launched C-TPAT in early 2002 to bolster supply chain security through voluntary cooperation by importers and other segments of the supply chain. Participants agree to adopt a set of security best practices in exchange for receiving benefits from Customs. For example, a C-TPAT importer may have its cargo inspected less frequently.

To derive the benefits, Customs must validate a C-TPAT member’s security plan, and revalidate it within four years. In 2010 the agency conducted a total of 3,140 validations and revalidations.

Businesses that Customs finds are not keeping up their security standards may be suspended or removed from the program. A total of 963 companies have been suspended, and 874 removed since the program started.

Nearly half the suspensions and 40 percent of the removals have been motor carriers. Customs said it is particularly watching truck security on the Mexican border. Mexican carriers are revalidated annually because of the security threats they could pose.

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