In return, American importers supposedly benefit from a reduced possibility of inspection, fewer supply chain disruptions, and faster movement of their cargo through ports and Mexican and Canadian borders. Other promised benefits include lower insurance premiums, possible mitigation on importer security filings, liquidated damage claims and an increase in public image, which may help to secure business from customers requiring participation in the program as a condition of winning their business.
CBP says that C-TPAT is the primary tool in the development of a trusted trader model that will ultimately gain recognition with other countries as they develop and harden their supply-chain security programs. But skeptics have criticized the program as being another government solution in search of a problem. Some say the benefits of joining the initiative are unclear and the security improvement value it promises is questionable. Other critics said they consider C-TPAT a big win only for CBP, while creating limited value and increased expense for traders.
However, C-TPAT is in dire need of an overhaul. Just imagine purchasing a computer 15 years ago and never installing any of the periodic updates. The machine would be slow, out of date and barely able to run new software that had been designed to reflect current trends. As with an out-of-date computer, C-TPAT has been in operation for 15 years, but has never been updated to reflect CBP’s current overall mission as the security threat continues to evolve and increase, both outside and within our country.
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