Crowley Liner Services has received word that its C-TPAT application, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been approved by U.S. Customs. This approval makes Crowley one of the first ocean carriers to be enrolled in the U.S. Customs Service’s new program, Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT).
The program, established as a result of the attack on the United States on Sept. 11, is designed to develop a more secure border environment by improving the security for the transportation of passengers, crew conveyances and cargo throughout the commercial process.
To get to this point of acceptance, Crowley has completed the MOU and submitted the "Sea Carrier Security Profile Questionnaire" which outlines Crowley's full security plan to U.S. Customs. Crowley will, among other security functions, implement a verifiable, documented program to enhance security procedures throughout its supply chain process. And Customs will work with Crowley on a number security functions, including the exchange of certain intelligence and conducting joint security surveys domestically and offshore. Once policies are in effect, imports by C-TPAT member companies would be given expedited processing at ports of entry.
“As a 110-year-old American company and the largest U.S. shipping company, we believed that it was important for us to be out front on this important counter-terrorism program,” said Tom Crowley Jr., Chairman, President and CEO of Crowley Maritime Corporation
. “Working closely with Customs will not only help better secure our borders, but will also help our customers who want their goods shipped quickly and with the highest degree of security.”
As part of the agreement, Crowley will limit access to vessels while in port, conduct background checks and credential employees, establish procedures to safeguard its information systems from unauthorized use, visually inspect the interiors of empty containers prior to loading in foreign ports, and notify Customs of shippers, or cargoes, with irregular profiles. In addition, Crowley will search vessels, prepare a vessel search checklist and secure all areas prior to vessels’ arrivals at their first U.S. port, designate port and vessel liaisons for Customs to contact, and conduct unannounced security checks.
“As an original signatory to the U.S. Customs’ Super Carrier Initiative Agreement (SCIA) we have been conducting many of these security functions for years,” said Ed Alford, Crowley’s Manager of Security and Safety. “Now, C-TPAT will
place added importance on border security and will complement SCIA’s emphasis on drug and contraband interdiction.”
U.S. Customs Service Commissioner Robert C. Bonner said, “This marks the next step in our plan to join forces with the private sector and keep the avenues of the world economy free of terrorist infiltration.”
"The specter of terrorists using global commercial channels is a threat to all who benefit from world trade," said Bonner. "It is not one nation that is the target of such an attack - it is the entire world economy. The international business community has a tremendous stake in the success of this program."