Charleston, SC – The South Carolina State Ports Authority announced today that it will play an active role in the war on terrorism by signing up for the world’s first global supply chain security initiative.
At a ceremony this morning in the U.S. Custom House in Charleston, Ports Authority President and CEO Bernard S. Groseclose Jr. signed an agreement pledging South Carolina?s ports to the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, or C-TPAT.
Groseclose was joined by Customs & Border Protection’s interim Charleston port director, Pam Zaresk, and Robert Gomez, C&BP’s interim director of field operations in Atlanta. “We are committed to this program and to securing the supply chain,” said Groseclose.
By agreeing to participate in the voluntary program, the Ports Authority will take a number of steps to enhance and improve security:
- Re-assess the current condition of port security
- Complete a port security profile
- Develop and implement new security measures
- Encourage other companies to participate in C-TPAT
The goal of C-TPAT is to enhance anti-terrorism efforts by strengthening security measures not only at the border, but throughout the entire supply chain. It’s a daunting task, considering more than a dozen private companies and public agencies can touch each shipment on its way from overseas origin to final destination in the U.S.
Importers and transportation service providers that participate in the program become the front lines of the nation?s anti-terrorism efforts. Benefits of participation include not only higher security, but potentially a reduced number of inspections and a greater focus on self-compliance with guidelines.
Companies are encouraged to involve their suppliers and transportation partners in C-TPAT creating a web of security that will eventually extend overseas. Some of the world?s largest companies are already involved, including Wal-Mart and several ocean carriers serving the Port of Charleston.
“To the Ports Authority, C-TPAT means teamwork,” said Bernard S. Groseclose Jr., president and CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority. “By working closer with others in the supply chain, our community, our state and our nation will enjoy a higher level of security.”
C-TPAT is one of several new programs developed by U.S. Customs & Border Protection over the 21 months since 9/11. For more information on C-TPAT, see the Customs & Border Protection website:
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