50 corporations have agreed to improve security measures on
goods coming into the United States in return for faster processing
through border checkpoints. Administration officials unveiled
the plan April 16 near the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, the
busiest border crossing in North America.
60 companies participate and another 100 applications are pending.The
Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, or C-TPAT program,
is a joint government/business initiative. Seven companies helped
design the program including BP America, Daimler Chrysler, Ford
Motor Company, General Motors Corp., Motorola Inc., Sara Lee
Corp., and Target.
message should be clear - if a business takes steps to secure
its cargo against terrorism, we will give it the 'fast lane'
through the border," said U.S. Customs Service Commissioner
Robert C. Bonner.
is for customs inspectors to give trucks, trains, planes and
ships carrying low-risk cargo a fast pass through the customs
inspection process. Trucks with transponders or bar codes would
be waved through checkpoints in less than a minute. Where possible,
there would be a separate commercial lane.In return, participating
companies agree to assess security at places where goods originate.
The companies must also conduct security assessments on the
carriers transporting the items and the people doing the work.
In addition, cargo must be sealed when it's loaded, and participants
agree to alert the Customs Service whenever security is breached.
must apply to participate in C-TPAT. Membership is available
to importers, carriers, brokers, warehouse operators and manufacturers.