The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Office of Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) have selected The Cotecna Group, an international inspection group, to participate in a one-year pilot program to conduct supply chain security validations in China. The pilot program officially began on July 1, 2007.
Cotecna will act on behalf of the U.S. government to conduct on-site validations of the manufacturers that supply U.S. importers enrolled in the C-TPAT program. Today approximately 10,000 companies are enrolled in the C-TPAT program, of which 6,500 are certified and approx 4,200 validated.
"Our network in China will be a great asset to delivering these invaluable services. Our work on this pilot program further develops our excellent relationship with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that we began in Operation Safe Commerce and emphasizes our commitment to global trade security," said Cotecna CEO Robert Massey.
C-TPAT, a voluntary U.S. government/private sector partnership was launched in the aftermath of 9/11 to better secure global supply chains and facilitate legitimate cargo and conveyances entering the United States. It is open to importers, customs brokers, terminal operators, carriers and certain foreign manufacturers to enable them to benefit from reduced inspections and expedited processing at the U.S. port of arrival or border.
C-TPAT participation requires the submission of an application and subsequent certification and validation of the information provided by the applicant. Validation is done through on-site visits by CBP personnel and its successful completion makes the C-TPAT member eligible for enhanced benefits at the customs point of entry.
The Cotecna Group, based in Geneva, Switzerland, has a workforce of about 4,000 employees and agents in close to 100 offices and holds 14 government inspection contracts.
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