A few weeks ago now, "CBP" ("U.S. Customs and Border Protection") launched the new "C-TPAT" ("Custom-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism") Portal 2.0. For Canadian exporters who are members of C-TPAT, this requires that they bring themselves up to date without further delay so that they are in compliance on a timely basis with the new requirements and with the Portal's new method of operation.
C-TPAT is a program launched by CBP in 2001 which today numbers more than 10,000 members, including American importers, Canadian, American and Mexican common carriers, American customs brokers, and Canadian and Mexican manufacturers, among others.
When companies join this partnership, they must sign a cooperation agreement with CBP to control and protect their supply chain, identify problems and gaps in security and implement additional security measures, where required. Also, member companies must create a security profile which sets out the specific security measures that each company has put in place to supervise and coordinate its operations, particularly regarding the choice of business partners it works with, the security of the company's establishments (alarm system, video surveillance, control of access), the choice of its personnel, security training, and management of the information technology.
In order to improve this system and meet the supplementary security requirements, C-TPAT has developed Portal 2.0 with the goal of offering its members more options, greater flexibility, and the ability to manage multiple accounts out of one main account.
THE FOLLOWING ARE THE MAIN CHANGES FROM PORTAL 1.0:
- members must reset their passwords and include security questions;
- if the information in their account is incomplete, members must update it when they first log in to Portal 2.0; and
- failure to complete this information could prevent members from carrying out any actions or operations on their account.
This exporting tool is expected to undergo further improvements and changes over the coming months and years. It is therefore essential for Canadian exporters, whether or not they are members of C-TPAT, to stay informed of the most recent developments.