C-TPAT Portal Upgrade to be Deployed Dec. 8
U.S. Customs and Border Protection will deploy Dec. 8 the first phase of a new version of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism portal. The second phase of C-TPAT Portal 2.0 is expected to be launched in May or June 2015, while the third and fourth phases are still in development and have no fixed deployment dates yet. CBP states that Portal 2.0 will allow for new levels of flexibility and security by streamlining applications to U.S. partnership programs, adding functionality requested by partners and meeting security requirements mandated by the Department of Homeland Security.
C-TPAT seeks to safeguard trade flows from terrorist acts by developing and adopting measures that add security while facilitating legitimate trade. C-TPAT has nearly 11,000 members, including U.S. importers, U.S./Canada highway carriers, U.S./Mexico highway carriers, rail and sea carriers, licensed U.S. customs brokers, U.S. marine port authority/terminal operators, U.S. freight consolidators, ocean transportation intermediaries and non‐operating common carriers, Mexican and Canadian manufacturers, and Mexican long‐haul carriers. Participants account for over 50 percent of U.S. imports by value.
C-TPAT Portal 2.0 is designed to manage multiple accounts with one main account containing generic company information (the trade account). In phase I, all active C-TPAT users will start managing their company information through a trade account, while in phase II they will be able to manage multiple C-TPAT accounts within this single account. Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg member Lenny Feldman explains that phase II will offer the ability to link trade accounts to create relationships, merge trade accounts to better manage multiple C-TPAT accounts, merge accounts with the same security procedures (e.g., brokers/consolidators), and expand accounts to include an eligible business type (e.g., importer plus exporter). Other changes include abolishing Status Verification Interface numbers, requiring all users to establish new passwords (including security questions), and introducing in phase II “Tasks for the Trade” to accompany C-TPAT lifecycle events (annual reviews, validation responses, etc.).