In a meeting with United States Customs & Border protection (CBP), BIMCO has learned that the Sea Carrier Initiative Agreement (SCIA) is no longer operational. SCIA was created in the 1980’ies by legacy US Customs Service. Following the terrorist attacks on 9-11 2001, SCIA gradually lost importance as the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) became the CBP’s preferred approach towards achieving supply chain security. Consequently, participation in SCIA is no longer applicable, and members are advised to investigate whether they can become participants to CTPAT.
There is every reason to seek qualification for CTPAT membership, as CTPAT Partners enjoy a variety of benefits. These include:
Not all companies are eligible for participation in CTPAT, and the one eligibility criteria which stand out the most is the requirement to have a business office in the United States. In view of the many benefits associated with CTPAT certification, companies which do not fully live up to the eligibility criteria listed below should consider to remedy this, for example by establishing a business office in the United States, if this is what it takes. In view of the benefits involved it may well prove to be an investment with a short payback time.
To be eligible for CTPAT certification, a sea carrier must
In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria, a sea carrier must also live up to the “Minimum Security Criteria – Sea Carriers”, the latest version of which is dated November 2019 (see attachment).
The fact that shipowners without a business office in the United States (typically smaller shipowners) are prevented from enjoying the benefits of CTPAT is a concern to BIMCO. Going forward, BIMCO will advocate that a solution should be developed for companies without a business office in the United States, that rewards an active participation in the combat against drug smuggling. The development of such a program – a “CTPAT light” if you like – will depend on the willingness of CBP to listen and adapt their current concepts, and will also require that extra resources are directed within CBP to fund such new initiatives. While this may prove difficult in the short term, the benefits to the United States’ security situation will hopefully warrant the necessary allocation of CBP funds, but time will tell. The BIMCO Secretariat will report any developments to members as soon as possible.
CTPAT Minimum Security Criteria - Sea Carriers (Nov 2019) 0.5 MBDownload now
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