As reported previously, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been working since 2012 towards opening the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) security program to exporters as part of the administration’s National Export Initiative to facilitate outbound cargo shipments. According to CBP, “developing an export component for C-TPAT would further enhance both the program and its relationship with other mutually recognized Foreign Customs administrations.”
At the beginning of the month, CBP finally announced the eligibility for exporters to participate in the C-TPAT program effective May 17, 2015. However, CBP then immediately stumbled out of the gate, issuing a cargo message the day following the scheduled implementation advising that various system “enhancements” to the C-TPAT account management tool as part of Portal 2.0 Phase II, including the new facility for exporters, would “not be available until further notice.”
Earlier this week, CBP informed the trade community that “the previous deployment attempt was delayed due to technical issues involving system response time,” adding that “the issue has since been resolved, and additional testing will be conducted over the next week to further ensure system stability.” Accordingly, the revised date for exporters to participate in the C-TPAT program is now set to commence June 1, 2015.
For exporters who have been certified, validated and are in good standing, CBP says they can expect to gain a number of benefits from participating in C-TPAT including, among other things: mutual recognition arrangements (heightened facilitation from foreign partners); reduced examination rates; and time priority processing.