Securing global trade begins with standards
If you’ve been through an airport in the last decade, attended a Major League sporting event, or perhaps less entertaining, gone to your local courthouse to protest a traffic violation, then you know that security is not being left to chance. That’s also the case with many of the places you don’t likely go – cargo ports, for example.
After the events of 9/11, security officials worldwide had to broaden the scope of their attention and recognize that criminal creativity can present far more obstacles to safety than previously thought. Of course, a great deal of this burden lies on passenger transport of various types, as well as individual governments, their border policies and customs programs.
Companies that are involved in the international transport of goods are particularly well positioned to provide an added level of security—not only for their customers but also potentially for the countries in which they do business.
The Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) and the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) programs are designed to bring a level of international consistency and conformity to our industry. Furthering the standardization and cooperation, the EU and the United States signed an agreement in May of this year to recognize one another’s certifications.
So what does this all mean for our clients, who are entrusting us to move their packaging, components and finished goods around the globe safely and quickly? This proactive engagement with customs authorities results in a lower risk profile on customer shipments and fewer delays. Where physical controls are required, AEO shipments are given priority – again improving the security and reliability of shipments. In certain cases there are also financial benefits as AEOs can benefit from simplified processes for inward goods processing.
Facilitating cooperation among trading countries is bound to produce economic gains and speed up the pace at which trade occurs. And in the broadest scope, these certifications could play a crucial role in global cooperation toward a safer society.