US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that they are aiming to begin the first phase of a Trusted Trader program this fall. The program will enable CBP to better manage supply chain security and compliance by unifying the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) initiatives:
- C-TPAT – a voluntary government-business initiative to improve overall supply chain and US border security. The program establishes supply chain security criteria for members to meet. As part of C-TPAT, CBP is hoping to complete supply chain security mutual recognition agreements with China and Mexico within the next 18 months.
- ISA – focuses on Customs compliance. Importers who can demonstrate their ability to manage their compliance through self-assessment are accepted into the ISA program. CBP recently launched the ISA Pre-Certification test, whereby licensed customs brokerage firms participating in the program can evaluate and pre-certify importers applying to ISA.
So how will this new Trusted Trader Program benefit importers? Participating importers will receive a variety of additional incentives such has time and resource savings related to the processing of Customs entries, costs, etc. CBP recently had a working group compile a list of new incentives that would be valuable to Trusted Trader participants. This list is now undergoing a final review by CBP.
Are you currently participating in C-TPAT or ISA? Check out this American Shipper 2013 Import Benchmark Study, which surveyed importers on their participation and effectiveness of the programs.
This post was published on August 28, 2013 and updated on August 8, 2017.