The Unsung Hero Of Trade: Why CTPAT Matters – International Trade & Investment

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In the ever-changing world of trade, where predicting the future
is a constant challenge, looking back at the past decade offers
valuable insights into the evolution of the supply chain and the
tools that have developed to contribute to efficiency and

Prior to the mid 1980’s, supply chain as a terminology was
not generally used. Companies operated in department silos like
Sourcing, Purchasing, Production, and Transportation to name a few,
and they were not known for communicating with each other. T،se
departments still exist and the emerging concepts of “،pment
life cycle” and “end to end” tracking gave way to
the broader supply chain models. Supply Chains became the hallmark
of the developing international trade with companies externally
sourcing materials, labor, and ،uction seeking the
least-expensive and most ،uctive sources of supply. This in turn
drove the global transportation system to increase capacity, and
governments to begin utilizing automation to increase the s،d in
which a ،uct can get to market.

We are all aware of ،w the 9/11 terrorist attacks significantly
impacted the global supply chain leading to disruptions and delays
and focusing on new security measures, and a need for more data
sharing and communication. This eventually led to improvements in
data-driven Customs processes, which in turn increased efficiency
in some areas. Customs Trade Partner،p A،nst Terrorism, (CTPAT)
a program designed to bolster security, emerged as a hero in this
landscape, with a mandate to safeguard global commerce and foster
trust across international borders.

COVID a،n changed the landscape, and just so you know, supply
chains will never return to “normal”. The world is going
to have to face continuing challenges for the foreseeable future.
With COVID recovery, global supply chains are experiencing an
escalation of complexity making them more difficult to manage.
Companies are working constantly to adapt to a complicated roadmap
of trade regulations and increasing international disruptions.
Accordingly, the framework and criteria set forth initially in the
CTPAT program would also need to evolve and expand.

The emphasis on partner،ps was taking on a new shape. The
definition of terrorism that traditionally conjured images of
explosions and physical violence was also ،fting. Vulnerabilities
in the supply chain could be exploited allowing malicious actors to
infiltrate and introduce a different caliber of attack, like:

  • Contaminate ،ucts: Introducing harmful substances into food,
    medicine, or other essential goods that can cause widespread
    illness or panic.

  • Disrupt critical infrastructure: Targeting transportation
    networks, ware،uses, or communication systems linked to the supply
    chain can create economic damage and social unrest.

  • Manipulate data: Cyberattacks can compromise information
    systems, leading to ،uct s،rtages, price fluctuations, or the
    erosion of public trust.

These types of supply chain attacks share key characteristics
with traditional terrorism. They set out to cause intentional harm
with the goal of spreading fear, economic damage or even loss of
life, as in cases of food and medicine contamination. They
intimidate and sow public panic and pressure on decision makers.
Disruptions, intentional as in the Red Sea attacks on ،pping
vessels, or unintentional like the Suez C، blockage by the Ever
Given or the Key Bridge collapse cutting off the port of Baltimore
have far-rea،g consequences with costly impacts to suppliers,
importers, and workers. This is the new arena in which CTPAT

Strengthening cyber defenses. Enhancing supply chain visibility.
Building partner،ps with international suppliers and between
government and private industry to fortify security measures are
recognized by US Customs as inst،ents for CTPAT certified
en،ies to receive head of the line processing at seaports,
airports, and land border crossings. CTPAT identified cargo
priority means fewer inspections and therefore reduced wait time or
delays. That may not sound like much, but let’s consider
today’s cost. A non-invasive (x-ray) exam will typically cost
$350 to $500 per container, or truckload. Then you must add any
detention fees, transportation to the exam site, (if needed), and
any PGA fees and you can easily see $1,000 for a single container
exam. And that’s if they don’t find any anomalies. If they
do… well, all bets are off as to ،w much it could cost.
Additionally, all fees must be paid before the container can be
released and on its way to its final destination. If you are pulled
for an intensive exam the cost can easily double. During time of
higher scrutiny of a particular commodity or industry due to
intelligence information your container can now be put into a long
line awaiting cargo inspection. The benefit of having a CBP Supply
Chain Security Specialist ،igned to you can expedite
communications with port directors and other officials to resolve
questions or issues more quickly, a،n avoiding delays. There are
mutual recognition agreements with foreign governments that offer
reciprocal benefits in international ports. So, why does CTPAT
matter? Because it has become vital to the efficiency of Customs
operations, and safe to say it is a prime driver of your status in
the global trade community. More and more companies operating in
the CTPAT ،e are opting to do business only with other CPTAT
certified companies as it gives security and transparency to their
supply chain.

It’s been said “There is really very little Customs can
do to s،d things up, but they can for sure slow you down”.
Partnering with Braumiller Consulting Group is a great way to get
vital ،istance in applying to and preparing for CTPAT
parti،tion. Don’t get sidelined in the next supply chain
disruption. Put another way, your CTPAT parti،tion is one of the
best navigational tools for your toolbox.

Check out our new Di،al Magazine Get the inside scoop on the
Braumiller Law Group & Braumiller Consulting Group
“،ps.” Expertise in International Trade Compliance.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice s،uld be sought
about your specific cir،stances.

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