Friday, March 6, 2009

C-TPAT and the economy

Many of my clients have expressed concerns on the actual economy. Sales are down, reduction in production and possible layoffs are just a few examples of what many companies are facing nowadays. But, from those conversations, one thing struck me: C-TPAT. The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. It is the one thing that several companies are seeing as a very valuable asset.
Many companies, despite the tough times, are still pursuing a C-TPAT certification because it is the deciding factor between their company and their competitor. More companies are joining the program because it is the right thing to do. First, no company importing into the United States wants to have some illicit merchandise smuggled on one of their shipment. Second, more businesses are requiring a C-TPAT certification from their vendors and will only deal with certified companies.
C-TPAT is becoming a worldwide business practice. Many countries are working on their own version of C-TPAT (Canada with the Partner In Protection program, the European Union with the Authorized Economic Operator program, New Zealand with the Secured Export Partnership, etc…).
Do you see an added value to be C-TPAT certified or do you think C-TPAT is a fad, destined to fade like many other customs programs over the years?