International Cargo Security Council Unveils New Training Programs

ANNAPOLIS, MD - The International Cargo Security Council announced today that its members and non-members are reporting positive results with its program of Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) compliance assessments and education.

An increasing number of companies have signed up to have their foreign suppliers independently assessed to ensure C-TPAT compliance. ICSC currently conducts dozens of C-TPAT compliance assessments of foreign suppliers in Asia, Mexico, Africa, Latin America, and additional companies are signing up daily.

ICSC in 2003 chose Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations of Raleigh, NC to launch cost-effective training programs to help organizations comply with a host of Homeland Security initiatives, including C-TPAT.

“All of the 100-plus firms that we have assisted with C-TPAT training and education report positive results—fewer inspections, decreased cargo loss and lower transportation costs due to a fewer number of carriers and volume leveraging,” said Barry J. Wilkins, Vice President of Global Supply Chain Security for Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations of Raleigh, NC, the firm ICSC selected to manage C-TPAT training.

The ISCS program is unique in that the reduced assessment fee is paid for by the foreign supplier. When suppliers pass the assessment, they are issued a C-TPAT Certificate of Compliance that they can use with all of their customers, avoiding multiple C-TPAT audits and differing recommendations. As one foreign automobile-parts manufacturer stated, “The ICSC program is excellent and right on target…for a minimal cost we avoid days of lost staff-time in supporting multiple-customer C-TPAT audits.”

ICSC was on the committee that initially created C-TPAT and has been a strong supporter of the initiative. “More and more companies--9,000 at last count--are enrolled in C-TPAT, so the need for conducting these assessments and providing meaningful education to employees and vendors is stronger than ever,” said ICSC Chairman Scott Smith, president of Alpha Cargo Technology. “We fully support C-TPAT and encourage our 1,200 members and others to participate by providing them with meaningful and cost-effective tools.”

In addition to the C-TPAT compliance assessment services, ICSC also provides assistance in applying for C-TPAT, developing acceptable C-TPAT policies and procedures, pre-validation readiness and education services. C-TPAT training is offered in classroom, CD/VHS and e-Learning formats. The ICS has hosted over a dozen seminars in applying for and complying with C-TPAT in the U.S., Asia and Mexico. The next C-TPAT training will be held in San Francisco in conjunction with an ICSC technology seminar December 4-6, 2005. More training sessions are planned for Mexico, Europe and Asia.

Responding to the 9-11 terrorism attacks, C-TPAT was inaugurated in 2002 by U.S. Customs (now Customs & Border Protection) to encourage companies to improve supply-chain security in return for “fast lane” border crossings and other incentives. Improved security also deters terrorists’ use of cargo shipments to commit further attacks.