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Best PracticesCTPATEventsExportImportInternational TradeSpeakingU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

What Keeps You Up at Night – Webinars for Compliance Professionals

posted by Jennifer Diaz March 21, 2018 0 comments

fffffWe took a poll to capture ALL of the topics that you wanted to learn about and decided to host 8 webinars for compliance professionals (FREE for clients) with leading experts on topics ranging from Importing 101/201, Exporting 201, to CTPAT, and FDA Compliance and more! Check out our complete list of topics, and click on the topic for more information on the specific learning objectives of each webinar and your expert speakers.

Did I mention that clients of Diaz Trade Law and Diaz Trade Consulting join for FREEPlease email for your code!


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CTPATEventsU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

CTPAT “Your Supply Chains Strongest Link”

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 1, 2017 1 Comment

ctpatI just attended the 2017 CTPAT conference in Detroit. After 2 days of CTPAT’ing, here a list of my top 10 takeaways including the changes I see coming to the CTPAT program.

  1. There is a new name. Notice the – is officially gone, no more C-TPAT (despite all of us conditioned to using the -, it is no more. CTPAT it is.
  2. There is a new slogan – CTPAT “Your Supply Chains Strongest Link”.
  3. There is a new woman at the helm. Elizabeth Schmelzinger is the Director of CTPAT.


The biggest take away is ….

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CTPATEventsU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

C-TPAT Conference 2017

posted by Jennifer Diaz August 9, 2017 7 Comments


U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proud to announce the 2017 C-TPAT Conference. The conference will be held in the Detroit Metropolitan Area. Two sessions will be offered: August 29 – 30, 2017 and August 30 – 31, 2017.  Both sessions will include a day of workshops and a day of general session.

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CTPATEventsExportU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Register NOW: Trade Day Hosted by CBP

posted by Jennifer Diaz July 26, 2016 0 comments

Trade DayHave you wanted a better relationship with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)? Wanted to meet key personnel within numerous departments of CBP and different PGA’s? Here’s the time to take advantage: Trade Day is coming to Miami, courtesy of CBP, on August 4, 2016. Did we mention it’s FREE?! Calling all importers, exporters, customhouse brokers, freight forwarders and all other interested parties in the international trade community – if you have been looking for an opportunity to meet with government officials that are responsible for processing and facilitating trade related import transactions and to get educated and ask more questions about ACE and CEE’s, this is your chance.

If you missed the previous Trade Day don’t miss this opportunity to: Continue Reading

Best PracticesCounterfeitsCTPATIPR, Trademarks and LogosU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

CBP Pilot Program Focuses on Pre-Compliance

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 13, 2014 0 comments

IPR CBP is currently taking volunteers for a brand new Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) voluntary pre-compliance program.  The Journal of Commerce reported on the new pilot program here.

Do you agree with my comments?

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Best PracticesCTPATEventsImportU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Time to Register – 2014 C-TPAT Conference

posted by Jennifer Diaz July 22, 2014 3 Comments

forkliftIt’s officially time to register for the 2014  C-TPAT National Conference.

Despite substantial scrutiny and restriction due to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidelines for government sponsored conferences, a scaled back C-TPAT conference will go on.  This year’s theme will be “C-TPAT: Partnering in Supply Chain Security and Facilitation for the 21st Century.”

Here’s what you need to know:

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Best PracticesCTPATImportU.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Do You Want to be a “Trusted Trader”? C-TPAT is No Longer Enough

posted by Jennifer Diaz June 25, 2014 1 Comment


U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently published the long awaited Federal Register Notice, dated June 16, 2014, discussing the “Announcement of Trusted Trader Program Test.”

This new “Trusted Trader” program is big news for U.S. and non-resident Canadian importers, and if implemented will combine the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Importer Self Assessment (ISA) programs, making ISA extinct.  CBP is currently recruiting test companies that have to be willing to go through an 18 month program test. Continue Reading

CTPATU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

What You Missed at the C-TPAT Conference

posted by Jennifer Diaz January 18, 2013 0 comments

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism is a voluntary government-business initiative that builds cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and U.S. border security. C-TPAT is widely recognized as one of the most effective means of providing the highest level of cargo security through close cooperation with international supply chain businesses such as importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers. At CBP’s C-TPAT Conference held on January 8-9, 2013, CBP announced major updates to C-TPAT – lucky for you, I’ve recapped the highlights for you below.

Trusted Trader Program

  • CBP proposes to combine CBP’s ISA program with C-TPAT.  Additionally, if importers choose to be part of the Trusted Trader Program, they can take advantage of “joint validations” with other government agencies (OGA’s).  CBP and TSA have already been performing joint validations for 9 months.  Trade is concerned that OGA’s will go on fishing expeditions while validating and no guarantees have been made from CBP that OGA’s won’t. This is a major concern for some (rightfully so!).
  • CBP is seeking comments regarding its new Trusted Trader Program. Please email any comments here.

Internal Conspiracies

Top conspiracy indicators to look for are:

  • Anyone taking photos of entrances, fencing, hours of operation, etc..
  • Anyone interested in stow plans, employee schedules, transit routes, and GPS
  • Anyone in financial distress
  • Anyone attempting to access a system that they have no authorization to access
  • Anyone showing up to work on a day off or with large bags
  • Anyone entering restricted zones without access

Container Inspection

Use the VVTT process:

  • View seal and container locking hardware
  • Verify seal #
  • Tug on seal to make sure it is on right
  • Twist and turn seal to make sure it doesn’t unscrew.

Most Common Areas of Failed Criteria:

  • Conveyance Security – tracking an monitoring                    51%
  • Container Security – sealing/ container inspection               49%
  • Business Partners – screening and subcontracting              46%
  • Personnel Security – background checks                            31%

SW Border Strategies 

  • 86% of the time the drivers are responsible and have some involvement in conspiracies
  • There were 41 seizures representing C-TPAT companies in 2012
  • There are 160 underground tunnels from Mexico the U.S. or Canada to the U.S.

Evidence of Implementation

Suspensions and removals from January 2002-November 2012:

  • 403 importers suspended due to validation issues
  • 339 were removed from C-TPAT

CBP expects:

  • C-TPAT Manuals including all minimum security procedures
  • Documentation of audits, checklists, appropriate training
  • Assurance that all documentation is uploaded into the portal
  • Checklists to be uploaded that are filled out (blank forms will no longer be acceptable)
  • Photo and video evidence of implementation may be requested
  • If you DON’T contact your CBP Supply Chain Security Specialist (SCSS) when illegal activity is detected, it is a STRIKE against you

Visitor logs

  • Only for unknown visitors
  • Don’t let visitors sign themselves in!

C-TPAT Portal 2.0 

  • Expect changes to the portal in the summer, it’s in early prototype stages now
  • You will not have to be a C-TPAT member to create a user account
  • SVI numbers will go away, tracking will be done using a business name and type
  • Members will have the ability to share documents
  • The new structure will give you the ability to combine common security practices, this is beneficial if you have more than one user account

Thomas Winkowski, Acting COO of CBP 

  • Over 55% of goods entering the U.S. are from C-TPAT certified partners
  • CBP is pushing for more Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA’s)
  • CBP currently has 7 MRA’s in place
  • MRA’s on the horizon with Taiwan, China, Israel and Mexico

Kevin McAleenan, Acting Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations (OFO) 

  • CBP is working on advancing benefits to C-TPAT members
  • New CBP Director Lauren Koffer was announced!  

Dan Baldwin, Executive Director


Currently CBP has:

  • 10,452 certified partners
  • 158 – CBP staffing level
  • 328 – Tier 3 IOR’s
  • 22,223 – Total Validations Completed since inception

Concern regarding budget and number of validations CBP will be able to complete for FY13

  • In 2012 there were 822 new companies that applied for C-TPAT & 693 of those were certified

Barry Brandman, President, Danbee Investigations


Top 5 best practices:

  1. Must enlist senior management support
  2. Culture and security excellence (Don’t meet standards, exceed them)
  3. Apply checks and balances throughout (Anticipate that your first line of defense will fail)
  4. Strategically utilize security technology
  5. Diligently audit safeguards to expose weaknesses

If you have questions regarding submitting a C-TPAT application, C-TPAT validations, advancing in tier status, or any pending C-TPAT program changes, feel free to contact me.   

CTPATU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

CBP Symposium Date Change & C-TPAT Conference Postponed

posted by Jennifer Diaz August 10, 2012 0 comments

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!  Registration opened on August 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm eastern standard time.

Originally CBP planned to hold the CBP Symposium right after the C-TPAT conference from September 24-28th in DC.  I thought that was a great idea and hope it works in the future. For now, the C-TPAT conference is postponed and the CBP Symposium has a new date.

So mark your calendars for the CBP Symposium titled "Transforming Trade for a Stronger Economy", it is now October 29-30 in Washington, DC. CBP is limiting attendance to 3 representatives per company, so plan accordingly. Registration has not yet been announced – but, I will say, you need to act fast, it’s sold out within a day typically. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet with all levels at CBP – take advantage!  The Symposium already took place on the West Coast, for a sneak peak at what to expect in DC, see the agenda here. Questions for CBP about the symposium may be sent to

CBP advised all member of C-TPAT that " C-TPAT will not be holding its 2012 Conference in September due to scheduling and logistics challenges.  We are currently working to revise the planning in order to bring you the conference material at a later date.  We will provide updated information as we get it on both the website and through email messages on the C-TPAT Portal. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused."

See you at the CBP Symposium!


Is C-TPAT Certification Really Worth the Effort?

posted by Jennifer Diaz August 6, 2009 4 Comments

Jennifer Diaz, Florida Customs and International Trade LawyerMore and more importers/exporters are being stopped and shipments detained and even seized by CBP (U.S. Customs). Many feel they are being targeted by CBP, simply for the type of merchandise or because of the country with which they may be doing business.

While you would think that electronics would be the most sought after, the fact of the matter is that electronics is a small piece of the seizure pie, with the biggest piece going to footwear! Talk about picking a product and running with it!

However, regardless of the industry, the primary reason for detentions is IPR (intellectual property rights) violations. You see, whether its shoes or cell phones, foreign manufacturers need to adhere to CBP protocols, as do U.S. importers and exporters.

One way to make sure that all of your ducks are in a row is to the become C-TPAT certified. Benefits are such that importers are 4 to 6 times less likely to incur a security or compliance examination by CBP. That in and of itself is almost reason enough. It’s not a complicated process as long as you are not dealing with fly by night manufacturers, but it is a process nonetheless. Do your due diligence. It’s fairly simple to confirm a licensing agreement. Most trademark and copyright holders have the pertinent contact information online. You could apply yourself, but it’s a little more involved than just that. You need to provide not only the manufacturer information, but also information on who ships your merchandise, how it’s packed and shipped, as well as information regarding your own company, such as security, HR, IT and other background information.

The bottom line here is that if CBP knows who is manufacturing your goods, where it’s coming from, where it’s headed and how it’s getting there, then that’s half the battle. If CBP knows that you are dealing with legitimate manufacturers that are properly licensed to produce your merchandise and who’s shipping it, then that’s the other half and your battle may be won.  Think seriously about joining C-TPAT, and run with it.