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The House Homeland Security Committee approved H.R. 4251, the “SMART Port Security Act”. One aspect of the bill requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop and implement a pilot program for non-asset based third-party logistics providers or transportation brokers to participate in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program.
The C-TPAT program is a voluntary government-business initiative to strengthen and improve international supply chains and improve U.S. border security. Through, this initiative, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) asked businesses to ensure the integrity of their security practices and those of their business partners within the supply chain.
Under the present regulations issued by the USCBP in 2008, non-asset based third-party logistics providers are not eligible for enrollment in the C-TPAT program. The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) has been advocating to eliminate this exclusion that has created not only a competitive disadvantage against a significant market sector involved in the global supply chain, but also leaves a hole in the security network of our country.
By excluding property brokers from the C-TPAT program, USCBP is ignoring the role these companies play in managing supply chains and selecting the thousands of trucks that cross our borders every day. Canada and Mexico are our largest trading partners, and the majority of freight that moves between our countries moves by rail or truck. This is freight controlled by transportation brokers who are currently excluded from the C-TPAT program.
Congress recognizes this security hole, hopefully USCBP will soon as well.