C-TPAT: Today’s consequences of non-membership

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Courtesy of BSI

To Join or Not to Join - That is the Question Still hedging your bets before joining C-TPAT? If so, you’re not alone: At the end of 2008, tens of thousands of companies, representing close to fifty percent of all U.S. imports by value, had yet to join the program. (On the flip side, of course, this statistic alludes to the program’s impressive success: Over 4200 importers are now on board, representing more than fifty percent by value.)

In past years, the decision “not to decide” has made some sense. As supply chain professionals know too well, adding any new process to the status quo is far from easy. Even when it will lead to greener pastures, putting a new initiative in place takes time, effort, money, politicking, and unwavering diligence. C-TPAT’s uncertain success in its early years, moreover, justified for many the “wait and see” approach as a strategic choice.

With recent changes on U.S. and international fronts, however, deciding whether and when to join C-TPAT has become more critical than ever. The consequences for today’s non-members have risen both in number and magnitude of potential risk. If you are among those now in budgeting mode, in fact, this just may be the time to firm up your company’s C-TPAT decision.

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