Cotecna, an international inspection group based in Switzerland, has been selected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to participate in a one-year pilot program to conduct supply-chain security validations in China. The announcement came from the agency's Office of Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), a voluntary program in which members adapt certain security measures in exchange for preferred treatment by customs inspectors. The effort includes importers, customs brokers, terminal operators, carriers, and some foreign manufacturers. Under the pilot, which began on July 1, Cotecna and other selected companies will conduct on-site validations of the manufacturers that supply U.S. importers enrolled in the C-TPAT program. Currently some 10,000 companies are participating, with 6,500 certified and another 4,200 validated. Companies undergoing successful validation become eligible for enhanced benefits at the customs point of entry, including reduced inspections and expedited processing.
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