Friday, September 17, 2010

Customs Head Continues Ban on C-TPAT Eligibility For Non-Asset Based 3PLs

(Mark B. Solomon — DC Velocity)

CBP chief Bersin says agency’s C-TPAT resources are best allocated to companies with extensive international exposure, not 3PLs with primarily domestic operations.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has said it will continue its 17-month-long ban on allowing non-asset based third-party logistics service providers (3PLs) to join the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), one of the agency’s leading supply chain security initiatives.

In separate letters to a House lawmaker and to the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), the group representing the 3PL industry, Customs Commissioner Alan D. Bersin, who took over CBP earlier this year as a recess appointment, laid out essentially the same message: that the agency’s C-TPAT resources are best allocated to validating companies with extensive international exposure, rather than to 3PLs whose operations are primarily domestic in nature.

Under C-TPAT, which was conceived following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, companies submit plans to CBP showing they have acceptable security measures in place across their supply chain. Those that pass a government audit receive expedited clearance of cargo entering U.S. commerce.

In January 2009, CBP denied eligibility to 3PLs that didn’t own any assets and who just did business in domestic U.S. commerce. Read more here.