A bill that seeks to reauthorize U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) cargo vetting program for the first time in eleven years was recently advanced by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Authored by U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), the bill would assist companies and ports of entry meet emerging threats facing the global supply chain while ensuring that C-TPAT participants receive tangible benefits for their partnership with the agency, including expedited entry at the nation’s ports.
Under the program, companies have the option of partnering with CBP to meet high security standards in exchange for pre-vetting privileges that include shorter wait times and fewer inspections at ports of entry.
In addition to codifying the program’s current structure, McSally’s bill makes three key updates to C-TPAT including requiring CBP to formally liaise with industry stakeholders when implementing new security criteria, reducing redundant inspections on pre-vetted cargo, and establishing a process for CBP and Congress to continuously vet participants to ensure security compliance.
The legislation would also grant CBP the ability to suspend participants from the program if they fail to abide by security requirements.
“C-TPAT is an innovative solution that boosts our national security while benefiting our economy,” McSally said. “This highly successful program enhances cross-border commerce, reduces wait times and inspections for pre-vetted companies at our overburdened and undermanned ports of entry, and boosts our global supply chain’s national security.”
The bill will now receive consideration in the Senate.