Customs and International Trade Attorney
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced its annual meeting of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) will take place at the beautiful JW Marriott in San Antonio, Texas. There will be two separate sessions each lasting 2 days. For more information regarding the 2014 C-TPAT National Conference, please click here.
With over 11,000 members, the real questions that companies, and executives who lead those companies, are asking is whether the time and expense of becoming and then staying a member of C-TPAT, is worth it. For some companies, the answer is a definite yes because either they have been directly or indirectly strongly recommended by CBP that they should be a C-TPAT member, some are advised by their customers that they should be a C-TPAT member, and others just think strengthening their companies' international supply chains is a darn good idea, whether or not there is any deterrent effect upon potential terrorists.
The concern that I hear often from executives in international logistics is that there is not enough benefit to importers, ocean carriers, and customs brokers for membership in C-TPAT. As a "trusted trader" one would expect expedited shipments, yet CBP has been reluctant to share data that establishes that C-TPAT members' cargo is cleared any faster than non C-TPAT members. C-TPAT members have their cargo examined and detained by CBP, or other Federal agencies. When such cargo is detained, often CBP provides no explanation for such examinations which are costly both in terms of expense and delay.
I encourage companies that can qualify to participate in C-TPAT, but first do a cost benefit analysis.
For any questions about C-TPAT or CBP generally, contact me at:
Peter Quinter, Chair
Customs and International Trade Law Group
1221 Brickell Ave., 16th Floor
Miami, FL 33131
Office (305) 416-6960
Mobile (954) 270-1864