AIAG is adding new features to its Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) Supply Chain Security system, which assists automotive importers and their business partners get certified as a low-security threat for shipping goods and materials into the United States. The enhancements include a new heat map that shows the location of each partner on a geographical map, similar to the display on Google Maps. Additionally, CTPAT partner survey information will be tagged to help the automotive importers visually identify and track their supply chain risks.
CTPAT is a voluntary federal government program, set up by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) after 9-11, which allows certified companies to move cargo more quickly through U.S. customs check points. The program is designed to strengthen and improve international supply chains and improve border security.
To meet CTPAT compliance, a supply chain partner must meet minimum CBP security requirements by answering a set of questions. To streamline the process for automotive suppliers, AIAG developed a supply chain security assessment tool in the form of a common system of questionnaires tailored for each type of supply chain partner, including highway, rail, ocean carriers, custom brokers, freight forwards, 3PLs and more.
AIAG’s system is an OEM subscription-based model that is free to suppliers. Automakers use the system because it provides them and their supply chain partners with a common process to request, complete, and evaluate supply chain security. Suppliers that have multiple OEM customers only have to answer one questionnaire.
“The supplier security assessment platform reduces the burden on our suppliers and business partners by gathering information globally through a central source, which creates efficiencies for all parties involved,” says Diane DeJarnett, customs and trade compliance manager for Toyota Motor Sales USA.
“Not only does the system offer a common set of questions, but also, it gives corrective actions,” adds Tim Fowler, AIAG’s ecommerce consultant. “It encompasses suppliers and everyone who touches a part before it reaches the OEM.” Plus, any changes CBP makes to the CTPAT program are monitored and incorporated into the system automatically.
Fowler says that AIAG’s system represents the only vertical industry offering a common CTPAT certification questionnaire and common set of corrective actions. “Data is organized so that each OEM can only see their own partners’ data and no one else’s,” explains Fowler. “We’ve built a lot of security into the system. Everything is in one place.”
The latest enhancements to the system were presented to users in mid-March and will continue to be enhanced throughout the year. “Every year, the AIAG Supply Chain Security (CTPAT) Work Group surveys OEMs and suppliers and tries to improve the system through their suggestions,” Fowler says.
Fowler says that all automotive supplier importers should be taking advantage of this tool that is free for subscribing OEM partners. “If you’re having difficulty maintaining your CTPAT certification or properly analyzing your security risks, I strongly encourage you to try this tool because it can definitely help,” says Fowler. “All your necessary data will be in one place, and you’ve also got AIAG to support you in explaining how to use it. Furthermore, all importers AIAG has launched into the system have received a Best Practice acknowledgement from CBP.”
“Tools like this one that facilitate traceability, communication, and reduce complexity and duplication are extremely important in a global supply chain,” says Bill Hurles, GM’s executive director of global supply chain.
AIAG’s Supply Chain Security system is open to member and non-member companies and offers its own landing page at www.aiag.org/supply-chain-management/customs-and-trade/ctpat-customs-trade-partnership-against-terrorism. This AIAG system is also approved by the Department of Homeland Security.