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Tecma Tips: The advantages of being C-TPAT certified

Tecma Tips: The advantages of being C-TPAT certified

We want to thank Rafael Romero for joining us today. Rafael is the director of the Tecma Group of Companies' transportation services, or TTS. Today we would like to ask, how do those that are new to international shipping begin to shop for a transportation service provider?

Steve Colantuoni:

Hello. We want to thank Rafael Romero for joining us today. Rafael is the director of the Tecma Group of Companies’ transportation services, or TTS. Today we would like to ask, how do those that are new to international shipping begin to shop for a transportation service provider? What might be might be the first question that a company that is new to moving things back and forth across the border might ask to a prospective international transportation service provider?

Rafael Romero: The most important thing (aside from cost) would be to choose a C-TPAT certified carrier for border crossing shipments.

Steve Colantuoni: Now we are getting into some international trade terminology that some of the folks that may be listening may not be familiar with. Could you explain what C-TPAT is?

Rafael Romero:

C-TPAT stands for Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.

Steve Colantuoni:

Is a certification process that to be designated as a C-TPAT certified shipper by US Customs?

Rafael Romero:

Correct there is a process of about six months in duration to become a C-TPAT certified shipper. Once that a company becomes certified, dealing with US Customs becomes easier.

Steve Colantuoni:

In other words, a C-TPAT certified carrier will have the ability to expedite shipments? They will not have to wait in line as long? Inspections may not occur with as great a frequency? Would it be correct to say this?

Rafael Romero:

Correct. Yes, border crossing time is reduced by ninety percent. Inspection frequency is reduced by probably seventy-five percent. Only random shipments will be inspected by US Customs.

Steve Colantuoni:

In other words, inspections will be done a lot less frequently of a C-TPAT certified shipper?

Rafael Romero:

Correct.

Steve Colantuoni:

You mentioned that there is a certification process involved with this. Is this something that companies typically bring themselves through, or are there consultants that can help them to get through the process? Would the Tecma Group of Companies have a service available to companies that would enable them to become C-TPAT certified shippers?

Rafael Romero:

Yes Tecma provides consulting services that enable companies to get C-TPAT certification. We have a staff of professionals that are certified. We want all clients that work with us to be C-TPAT certified.

Companies also can go through the process themselves. Going this route begins with a visit from US Customs. They visit the company and collect information and communicate requirements. The come back on a random check in order to determine if the company has followed-up on the recommendations that they have been given. Once the random check is passed, the company is done and is a C-TPAT certified shipper.

Steve Colantuoni:

One last question that I would like to ask is the following: When that certification is obtained , in order to keep it, is there something that has to be done periodically to maintain it?

Rafael Romero:

Yes there are things that C-TPAT certified shippers have to do to remain that way. They have to keep all their papers and processes in compliance with the program’s regulations. They point out the things that require changes in a company’s operations n order to remain C-TPAT certified. To answer your question, companies will be audited periodically. They should create a binder with records off all inspections , as well as all internal audit information related to departments that are involved and personnel. This should be ready for whenever US Customs decides to come and visit in order to perform an audit.

Steve Colantuoni:

As regards cost, there is going to be an internal administrative cost related to keeping records. In terms of actually becoming a C-TPAT certified shipper, do you have any idea what the cost would be to get assistance in negotiating the process by a third party?

Rafael Romero:

This would vary from company to company. The last time that I participated in the process outside of the Tecma Group of Companies, the consultant fees were for five thousand dollars. This was charged for reviewing process and making suggestions for how to pass the audit that would be done by US Customs for the C-TPAT certification.

Steve Colantuoni:

You’ve given us a finger in the wind idea of what an outside consultant might cost. This will allow those with interest in becoming C-TPAT certified to have a starting point and a number in mind, and they will be able to shop with some idea as to what is a reasonable price and what isn’t.

Rafael Romero:

That’s right.

Steve Colantuoni:

I want to thank you for sitting down and discussing this. If someone that has seen this video has a question that you might be able to answer for them on this topic, how would they contact you? What’s your email address?

Rafael Romero:

My email is rafael.romero@tecma.com. We also have personnel that is specialized in C-TPAT certification that I can put interested parties in touch with.

Steve Colantuoni:

Rafael is your starting point, if you have questions about becoming C-TPAT certified. Don’t hesitate to utilize the resource, if you have the need.   Tecma Transportation Services can be of assistance.  Thank you.

Remember, interested parties can receive Mexico manufacturing information on a weekly basis by SMS Texting the word Tecma to 96000.

Photo credit: William Murphy

 

 

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