On September 11, 2001, combating the threat of terrorism became the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) number one priority.
On that day, the movement of goods and people into the US came to halt as the US authorities shifted to protecting America from further attack. CBP realised that one of the best ways to prevent further terrorist attacks was to make it more difficult for terrorists or terrorist weapons to enter the United States. Shortly after 9/11, CBP developed the ‘Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism’ (C-TPAT) as the first coordinated response between industry and government to secure US borders. The C-TPAT program is a joint initiative between CBP and trusted partners including US importers, terminal operators, carriers, and other supply chain entities focusing on securing the international supply chain. The C-TPAT program is also considered the “restart” mechanism of international trade should any future attack occur.
Voluntary agreement evolving into industry standard
Maersk Line was first invited into C-TPAT at the end of 2002 and secured its participation through site visits in Denmark in 2003. At that time the APMM Group was the first transportation company to attain enterprise-wide C-TPAT status – for Maersk Line, Safmarine, APM Terminals, Damco, and BTT.
While a voluntary agreement, the C-TPAT program has gradually evolved into an industry standard, which many of our customers include in their service contracts. They require we maintain our membership in good standing in order to retain their business.
C-TPAT re-validation of Maersk Line and Safmarine
Mark Tierney, VP of Security of Maersk Line in North America explains: “A validation resembles a certification, and is a review of the agreed security criteria based on a self-assessment. Maersk Line was the first carrier to undergo validation.”
In October 2007, all business units were validated through site inspections in Singapore and Malaysia. In November 2011 Maersk Line, Safmarine and APM Terminals were re-validated following on-site inspections by CBP personnel in Bremerhaven and Cape Town. Earlier this year, Damco received its re-validation as well.
Sean E. Doherty, Acting Director C-TPAT, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, comments on the engagement by A.P. Moller-Maersk:
“Over the years, the AP Moller family of related companies has partnered with US Customs and Border Protection to ensure that our mutual concerns have been achieved. AP Moller has become an industry leader demonstrating their commitment to the principles of supply chain security and trade facilitation. A.P. Moller’s long term, active participation in the Customs-Trade Partnership Program along with their cooperation and contributions over the years stands out as a model corporate citizen who is truly dedicated to building the strongest government to business partnership in the world.”
» U.S Customs and Border Protection
» C-TPAT Overview