Rep. Clay Higgins introduced legislation to reauthorize and enhance the functionality of the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism Program
Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., the ranking member of the House Border Security, Facilitation and Operations Subcommittee, introduced legislation to reauthorize and upgrade the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) flagship international supply chain security program, the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT). The legislation would reauthorize the program for the first time in more than 13 years, improve information sharing and collaboration with industry, and improve program management.
Reauthorizing the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program allows CBP and private industry partners to better address new and evolving security threats to the international supply chain. “The reforms in our legislation ensure efficient trade and provide CBP with greater authority to enforce the program’s security criteria,” Higgins said in a statement. “This reauthorization has strong, bipartisan support from members of Congress and private industry. I am hopeful it will quickly advance through committee and to the full House.”
Specifically, the new bill would:
- Expand CTPAT eligibility to importers, exporters, customs brokers, forwarders, sea, air, and land carriers, and give the agency the flexibility to add other international supply chain participants
- Expand tangible and specific benefits to all participants during CBP’s CTPAT vetting and site visit validation process
- Ensure CTPAT participants receive quantifiable benefits, including shorter wait times and fewer inspections at ports of entry for their participation
- Formalize a process for recurring recertification and revalidation of security practices by CBP
- Permit CBP to suspend or remove participants from CTPAT for failing to meet minimum security criteria, providing false or misleading information, breaking the law, or posing a threat to national security
- Offer protections to industry when appealing a suspension or removal from the program
- Allow CBP to accept a site visit conducted by a cleared foreign government under a mutual recognition agreement for continued participation in CTPAT
- Require CBP to consult with industry when implementing new or updated security criteria
In response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, CBP created CTPAT to strengthen the international supply chain and improve border security. Under this voluntary program, companies work with CBP to enhance security throughout the international supply chain, identify security gaps, and implement security best practices. Participants of the program receive benefits such as shorter wait times and fewer inspections at ports of entry. More than 11,5000 customs brokers, freight forwarders, airlines, and carriers are currently enrolled in the program.
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