H.R. 3551 reauthorizes and amends the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program to reflect current industry practices and threats to the global supply chain.
Specifically the bill:
establishes the C-TPAT program, formal duties of the Director, and makes the program the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) for the United States;
expands the number of entities that are eligible for C-TPAT participation to include importers, exporters, customs brokers, fowarders, air, sea, and land carriers, and contract logistics providers;
establishes a tiered system of tangible benefits into which C-TPAT participants fall based on their adherence to security requirements;
reduces redundant inspections on pre-vetted cargo and provides CBP with mechanisms to suspend or expel participants from the program if they fail to abide by security requirements or pose a threat to national security;
establishes a process for CBP, with Congressional oversight requirements, to continuously vet participants, review their security measures, and conduct site visits to their facilities to ensure compliance.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 25, 2017.
C-TPAT Reauthorization Act of 2017
This bill amends the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 to reauthorize within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program. The CBP shall publish on its website or other online publication: (1) information about benefits to program participants, and (2) notice of any changes to benefits to participants by 30 days before any such changes take effect.
The bill specifies that: (1) applicants may be eligible to participate as Tier 1 or Tier 2 participants, (2) importers may be eligible to participate as Tier 3 participants, and (3) the Executive Assistant Commissioner may extend Tier 3 participation to other entity types if appropriate. To be eligible, an entity shall: (1) have a designated company employee authorized to bind such entity that is a direct company employee and will serve as the primary point of contact responsible for participation; and (2) at the time of initial application and annually thereafter, submit an international supply chain security profile.
The CBP must establish minimum security criteria for participants in the program, review such minimum security criteria at least once every two years, and update such minimum security criteria as necessary.
The CBP may recognize regulatory inspections conducted by other components of the Department of Homeland Security of entities as sufficient to constitute validation for C-TPAT program participation. It shall: (1) implement a recertification process for all C-TPAT program participants, (2) consider the potential for participation in the C-TPAT program by importers of non-containerized cargoes and non-asset-based third party logistics providers, and (3) establish sufficient internal quality controls and record management to support the management systems of the C-TPAT program.