US, EU agree to recognize each other’s trusted traders: C-TPAT, AEO members
by Peter Quinter, guest columnist
US Customs and Border Protection’s very successful Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program has over 12,000 members in the United States. Most C-TPAT members are importers and customs brokers, but terminal operators and air and ocean carriers are also represented. If not getting your cargo examined at the port of entry by CBP, or getting “front of line service” by CBP were not already sufficient reasons to join C-TPAT, then here is a really good incentive for multinational companies doing business in the United States and Europe:
The European Union program similar to the United States C-TPAT is called “Authorized Economic Operator” (AEO). CBP and the EU signed a mutual recognition agreement in May, effectively extending the benefits of each program to the other program’s members. Thus a C-TPAT member in the United States gets the trade privileges of an AEO in the EU, and vice versa. The intention of both programs is to secure the international supply chain and, making the best use of limited government resources, allow customs officials to target non-member shipments arriving at the border as higher risks.
The bottom line is that if a company has been considering joining C-TPAT, but has been on the fence about its advantages versus disadvantages, there is now a decisive advantage to C-TPAT if that same company also has import or export cargo operations within the EU. Put another way, it is a 2-for-1 deal.
Getting started on becoming a member of C-TPAT is easy. The application process for importers, customs brokers, air and ocean carriers is almost identical, and begins with the C-TPAT Security Link Portal Online Application. Yes, there are a lot of requirements, and some paperwork, and there will be a visit to your company by a CBP Security Supply Chain Specialist, plus some ongoing updates to the portal by your customs attorney or other consultant. But in the end, I believe the benefits are worth it.
Please call or email me with any questions or comments at [email protected] or (954) 270-1864.
Copyright © 2012 GrayRobinson
About Peter Quinter
Long-time Datamyne Blog contributor Peter Quinter is now a Shareholder in GrayRobinson’s Miami and Ft. Lauderdale offices and Chair of the Customs & International Trade Law Group. Mr. Quinter principally represents persons and companies involved in international trade and transportation. He is editor of the GrayRobinson Customs and International Law Blog. Quinter is widely recognized for his expertise in international and trade law: He was appointed by US Secretary of Commerce to the Florida District Export Council; Florida Trend magazine recognizes Quinter among its “Legal Elite” in the area of International Law; Florida Super Lawyer magazine includes him in the top 5% of Florida; and he is recognized in “Best Lawyers in America” in the area of FDA Law.
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