A common C-TPAT questionnaire provides a process for supply chain partners to become certified as a low-risk security threat for multiple OEMs.
Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is a federal government program set up by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that allows a company shipping goods and materials into the country to become certified as a low-risk security threat. Certification means that cargo can be expedited efficiently through U.S. customs checkpoints.
In order to achieve C-TPAT certification or compliance, a supply chain partner must meet the minimum security requirements as defined in the CBP questionnaire.
Questions and associated corrective actions had been developed by each original equipment manufacturer (OEM), causing tremendous duplication of effort throughout the international supply chain and forcing suppliers that have multiple OEMs as customers to return a completed questionnaire to the respective OEM.
"Feedback from several of our business partners indicated that the other OEMs were requiring them to fill out similar versions of the same survey,” points out Mark Argenti, C-TPAT and export compliance manager at Fiat Chrysler Automotive. Supply Safe reduces redundancy and strengthens security within the automotive supply chain by developing a solution that presents a united commitment by the automotive community to work together."
AIAG, in collaboration with several member companies, developed a common system to be used by automotive importers and their supply chain partners to comply with C-TPAT requirements. This includes the first common industry C-TPAT questionnaire along with the associated corrective actions. Questionnaires are tailored for each type of supply chain partner including highway, rail, and ocean carriers; customs brokers; freight forwarders; 3PLs, etc.
“C-TPAT is a standard topic of discussion among OEMs with interest in customs practices and supply chain security, explains Diane DeJarnett, customs and trade compliance manager at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “The Supply Safe-Supplier Security Assessment platform will reduce the burden on our suppliers and business partners by gathering information globally through a central source, which creates efficiencies for parties involved.”
OEMs and their supply chain partners have a common process to request, complete, and evaluate supply chain security.
Suppliers that have multiple OEMs as customers need only answer one questionnaire.
Threat assessment information is available for all countries and can be evaluated by specific trade lanes.
AIAG provides first-line system support capabilities, answering both technical and business questions from supply chain partners.
Reporting capability can be used when conducting supplier security validations and as material supplied to CBP to provide supporting supply chain security documentation.
There is no cost to the supply chain partners.
Changes to the C-TPAT program are monitored and incorporated into the system automatically.
Extensive data security capability means OEMs can only view their supply chain partners, and supply chain partners can define who may view their company information and questionnaire responses.
“The Supply Safe program is the next evolution in border security for the industry. The collaboration on this is historical,” says Jeff Gifford, C-TPAT and NAFTA compliance manager at Magna International. “Everybody is taking a significant look at their supply chain. Now we'll have a standardized approach to reporting and how to resolve any deficiencies."
Bill Hurles, executive director of global supply chain at GM, agrees: "Tools like Supply Safe that facilitate traceability and communication and also reduce complexity and duplication are extremely important in a global supply chain."
The AIAG Supply Chain Security Assessment System was launched in April, 2014. Fiat Chrysler Automotive and Toyota currently use the system for all C-TPAT related activities, and the list of supply chain partners for both companies has been updated. Honda and General Motors launched on June 1, 2015.