U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has just announced that in collaboration with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it is accepting applications to its newly formed Trusted Trader Pilot Program.  The goal of the program is increase importers’ control over their supply chains and to integrate U.S. government agency collaboration, to reduce government-wide resource expenditures and enhance information sharing between agencies.  The program aims to strengthen security, identify low-risk trade entities, and increase overall efficiency of trade.

The Trusted Trader Program combines the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism supply (C-TPAT) chain security program with its Importer Self-Assessment import compliance program.  However, the program is open to U.S. or non-resident importers who are not currently in those programs, as long as they have been importing for at least two years.  Participating importers will have to meet increased recordkeeping and reporting requirements and must be in compliance with C-TPAT Importer Security Criteria, but will receive benefits such as reduced targeting, partial release of held shipments, and the option to be exempt from certain inspections.  CBP will begin selecting applicants by July 16th.