Louisiana Rep. Clay Higgins introduced legislation to reauthorize and enhance the functionality of the CBP’s Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism Program, “CTPAT”.

More than 11,400 importers, customs brokers and freight forwarders, and carriers are currently enrolled in the program in exchange for enhanced security throughout their supply chains, faster cargo clearance and fewer exams. However, many CTPAT participants complain they have not realized notable increases in speed of cargo clearance or decrease in detentions.

“The reforms in our legislation ensure efficient trade and provide CBP with greater authority to enforce the program’s security criteria,” states, Rep. Clay Higgins, who serves as the ranking member of the House Border Security. Higgins said his CTPAT reauthorization bill (H.R. 3719) would reauthorize the CBP program for the first time in 13 years, increase information sharing and collaboration with the industry and improve program management.

According to Gillis (2019), specifically, Higgins’ 2019 CTPAT Reauthorization Act bill would:

  • Reauthorize the CTPAT program to “reflect current industry practices and threats to the international supply chain;”
  • Expand CTPAT eligibility to importers, exporters, customs brokers, forwarders and carriers and offer the agency the “flexibility” to add other international supply chain participants;
  • Require CBP to consult with industry when implementing new or updated security criteria;
  • Ensure CTPAT participants receive “quantifiable benefits,” including shorter wait times and fewer inspections at ports of entry for their participation;
  • Expand “tangible and specific benefits” to all participants during CBP’s CTPAT vetting and site visit validation process;
  • Permit CBP to suspend or remove participants from CTPAT for failing to meet minimum security criteria, providing false or misleading information, breaking the law or posing a threat to national security.
  • Offer protections to industry when appealing a suspension or removal from the program.
  • Formalize a process for recurring recertification and revalidation of security practices by CBP.
  • And allow CBP to accept a site visit conducted by a cleared foreign government under a mutual recognition agreement for continued participation in CTPAT.


For more information, read Chris Gillis’s full article:

American Shipper: House Bill Aims to Upgrade CTPAT

Gillis, C. (2019). House bill aims to upgrade CTPAT. American Shipper [Daily Digital Magazine]

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