BIMCO took the initiative to draft as soon as possible the text of a clause that takes into account the potential liability for the costs of sending security forces to U.S. ports. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, the focus was on terrorism and CBP launched the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) initiative. C-TPAT represents the customs-trade partnership us Against Terrorism (C-TPAT). It is a joint government-business initiative that aims to establish cooperative relationships that strengthen the entire supply chain and border security and recognize that customs can only provide the highest possible level of security through close cooperation with its industrial partners. The C-TPAT documents clearly show that its roots lie in the Sea Carrier Initiative Agreement (SCIA) and the Business Anti-Smuggling Coalition (BASC). Since the withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear agreement and the implementation of the policy of maximum pressure on Iran, international shipping has been threatened with attack in the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman. In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria, a shipping company must also complete the “Minimum Security Criteria – Sea Carriers,” the latest version of which is dated November 2019 (see appendix). BIMCO had a special version of this agreement with U.S. Customs, under which BIMCO could declare members who, in exchange, would receive a reduction in smuggling penalties if they had taken the necessary steps to prevent drug smuggling on board. BIMCO, however, is skeptical of the 24-hour manifesto rule, with BIMCO questioning the ability of the U.S. Customs Authority to analyze the carrier within the 24-hour timeframe and report back to the carrier. In addition, BIMCO considers that the 24-hour rule in its current form, when it comes to bulk goods, is not currently applicable.
BIMCO is concerned that shipowners who do not have their headquarters in the United States (usually smaller shipowners) are prevented from benefiting from the benefits of CTPAT. In the future, BIMCO will work to develop a solution for companies that do not have a U.S. headquarters, which rewards active participation in the fight against drug trafficking. The development of such a program – a CTPAT light, if you prefer – will depend on CBP`s willingness to listen to and adapt its current approaches, and it will also be necessary for additional resources to be made available within CBP to finance such new initiatives.