Thursday, April 13, 2006
There are off-the-shelf technologies currently available that when used properly can provide essential information on a shipment’s movements from a foreign manufacturer’s facility, through the supply chain, and all the way to the U.S. customer. But there appears to be no enduring (government) mechanism in place for submission of such solutions for evaluation and/or approval. The ability to allocate just 40 auditors to the 5,000 C-TPAT applicants is indicative of the budgetary challenges USCBP faces.
What’s baffling is that C-TPAT is in keeping with the administration’s strategy of keeping threats offshore. So this under-funding, especially when compared with the astronomical funding levels for larger operations with a similar goal of insulating us from the fight, begs the question: Do our leaders take these USCBP initiatives seriously? Until we make a real commitment to these programs and the technologies to support them, no one should be surprised that there are gaps in the system.
Is C-TPAT Protectionist?
"Vendors in the Third World do not have the means to comply with C-TPAT. They probably never will because our industry will not be able to buy from them if we want to reap the benefits of C-TPAT. And as C-TPAT is phased in as law, as opposed to the voluntary program it is now, it will become impossible to do business in these countries. Obviously, the less we buy, the fewer resources they will have to become compliant... it's a vicious cycle."
The Importer of Record is concerned with the ability of US-based importers to participate in C-TPAT. The program seems to have been designed without adequate consideration of how the small-medium importer will be able to absorb the cost of compliance. The scenario above would only compound the problem. The end result would be that many, many small-medium US-based importers, the backbone of the industry, will be forced out of business. The economic damage from 9/11 still reverberates...
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
REACH (It's not a toothbrush)
If you don't know about REACH, you will soon...