China and U.S. Launch Trade Security Pilot Program

On March 24, 2008, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the start of a validation pilot program in China made possible by cooperation between CBP and the General Administration of China Customs. The pilot program involved three Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) importer partners whose supply chains predominately originate in China. 

CBP states that the U.S. companies were invited to participate based upon several factors including volume, product type, and location of their supply chains in China. The companies voluntarily agreed to participate in the pilot program with the concurrence of both administrations. 

China Customs led the validations based on C-TPAT minimum security criteria as a guide and with CBP supply chain specialists providing technical assistance. Prior to the validations, the companies were receiving minimal C-TPAT benefits due to CBP's inability to validate their security procedures in China. However, the information gathered during the validation will now allow CBP the ability to assess whether greater C-TPAT benefits are warranted. Both CBP and China Customs will evaluate the success of the pilot program and determine next steps.

C-TPAT Director Brad Skinner stated, "It took several months of intense discussions to get to this point and we look forward to continuing this effort as we explore future cooperation. It is a win-win for all. CBP and China Customs have the knowledge that all parties involved have good security practices in place and the companies can benefit by receiving fewer exams."