Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Partners in Protection Program Now in Effect

The CBSA recently issued notification of changes to the Partners in Protection (PIP) program. According to Customs, steps have been taken to ensure that PIP is better aligned with the WCO Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE), and the WCO Authorized Economic Operator concept.

As well, it aligns PIP with the US C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) program; both CBSA and US Customs and Border Protection will “apply high security standards and perform similar site validations when approving companies for membership in their respective programs”, according to a news release issued on 30 June by US Customs. “The goal of these arrangements is to link the various international industry partnership programs, so that together they create a unified and sustainable security standard that can assist in securing and facilitating global cargo trade.”

The revised Security Profile can now be downloaded from the links indicated below (English and French versions). This is a fillable PDF form. Note that you will require the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader in order open the file.

Mutual recognition between modernized PIP & C-TPAT

In 2007, under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), the Government of Canada announced $11.6 million in funding to strengthen the PIP program in order to achieve mutual recognition and compatibility with the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program.

This milestone was reached on June 28, 2008, when the CBSA signed an arrangement with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

On balance, stakeholders such as the Canadian Trucking Alliance have given the thumbs up to the announcement, while expressing disappointment that the programs weren’t more fully integrated.

Carriers and other participants who were members of the PIP program before June 30th, 2008, will have six months to re-apply to the re-vamped program. They will be required to complete a security profile, which will be reviewed by CBSA. A follow-up site validation may be required, but CBSA has indicated that this step may not be undertaken if a C-TPAT validation has been carried out within the past two years. Ultimately carriers will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with CBSA that sets out the roles and responsibilities of the respective parties.

“If a carrier is already a C-TPAT member, this should be a relatively straightforward exercise, and they will continue to receive the benefits these programs provide, such as access to FAST lanes at busy international crossings,” said CTA Chief Executive Officer David Bradley. “I’m also pleased to see that CBSA listened to CTA and others in the business community and significantly revised an initial suspend/cancel policy that would have literally driven carriers out of the program. I am confident that the trucking industry, the single largest industry sector in PIP, will be able to comply with these tougher new requirements.”

However, Bradley admitted that he “remains disappointed that CBSA and CBP have fallen short of the goal of full mutual recognition – that is, a situation where a carrier need only apply to PIP or C-TPAT, but not both. But we have at least taken an important step forward, and I’m hopeful that we will get there eventually.”

Related Links:
CBSA Partners in Protection (PIP)
CBP Customs & Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)
WCO SAFE Program (PDF file)
WCO Authorized Economic Operator Guidelines (AEO)

Download Links & Passwords

Adobe Acrobate Reader v. 9
PIP Security Profile–English (Password: PIPpep041987)
PIP Security Profile–French (Password: PEPpip041987)