In the past few weeks, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has detected an increase in narcotic and human smuggling seizures in commercial shipments originating in Mexico and entering through several South West Border (SWB) ports. Both C-TPAT and non C-TPAT shipments have been targeted by Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO).
C-TPAT Importers, Mexico/Foreign Manufacturers, Mexican Long Haul Carriers and US/Mexico Highway Carriers should be cognizant that DTOs may target all entities involved in the supply chain regardless of the commodity being transported.
In light of this information, C-TPAT highly recommends members to re-assess the risk of shipments coming from Mexico and especially in the SWB corridors. It is imperative that companies mitigate vulnerabilities through actions such as:
- Conducting Risk Assessment on Business Partners
- Communicate the importance of security within the supply chain to all business partners; monitor your business partner’s Status Verification Interface (SVI).
- Have effective business partner screening procedures in place (site visits).
- Highly scrutinize new business partners.
- Contracting/Sub-Contracting Policies and Procedures
- Thoroughly screen the contractors and sub-contractors which are providing such services.
- Conveyance/Trailer/Container Security Inspections
- Management should conduct random and unannounced inspections of container inspections taking place.
- Conveyance Tracking and Monitoring Procedures
- If GPS is in place, ensure that it is being utilized correctly and efficiently.
- Maintain constant communication with the driver, tractor and trailer while en route to the border and to US Border Patrol Checkpoints.
- Procedural Security
- Make sure managers/appropriate personnel understand company procedures on reporting suspicious activities, discrepancies and anomalies to local law enforcement agencies, CBP Port(s) and assigned Supply Chain Security Specialist.
- Personnel Security Hiring Practices
- Periodically conduct thorough background checks of employees, especially those who come in contact with the cargo.
- Security Threat and Awareness Training
- Conduct refresher training for employees handling cargo and especially truck drivers and train managers to detect internal conspiracies.
Members have developed several Best Practices (refer to the C-TPAT Best Practice Catalog for additional information) to defeat breaches such as:
- Designated time spots – driver must report time at each specific area along the route.
- Minimize/eliminate un-necessary stops by drivers throughout the transportation route.
- The Highway Carrier has the ability to shut off the engine remotely in the event of route deviations / lost contact with driver.
- Use tamper-indicative security labels bearing an actual photo of the seal and a serial number, attached to the hinges and between the two doors of the vehicle.
- Use multiple ISO/PAS 17712 certified high security seals on all shipments bound to the U.S.
- For company owned trailers – utilize spot welded bolts and other hardware (such as hinge covers) to avoid tampering.
- In addition to using a bolt seal, attach a cast iron J-bar device to the locking bar that requires a specialized tool for removal.
Many CBP Ports have established a local 24/7 contact number and members should familiarize themselves with local port communication protocols or call 1-800-BE ALERT (1-800-232-5378) to report suspicious activity.
To find your local CBP Port telephone number, please click the link below:
Below are the links to the various criteria for your review: