Securing a Supply Chain

Executive Summary

The tragic events of September 11, 2001, triggered a legitimate renewed focus on the security aspect of Trade and Transport-related matters. The most visible initiatives in this area have been:

  • In 2001, the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) voluntary certification program (USA)
  • In 2003, the implementation of the "24hr advanced manifest rule" for shipments to US ports
  • In 2004, the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) addressing the port and vessel segments of the maritime trade and transport security.

In 2005, the World Customs Organization (WCO) published its "Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade". To date, 156 WCO Members have signed a letter of intent to implement the Framework. With such a heavy-weight prime mover, it is likely that the Framework of Standards will shape the majority of the future national supply chain security programs.

But these are only the visible part of the iceberg. When attempting to map out the current status of supply chain security, analysts find themselves confronted with a mosaic of "initiatives", programs, codes, "solutions", technological applications, regulations, which may be international, national, regional, sectoral, compulsory, voluntary, unilateral, bilateral, multilateral, mutually complementary or overlapping.

Non-specialists can legitimately become perplexed by the fluctuating and complex nature of the issue. Choosing the right orientations and making the right decisions while planning one's certification against such an evolving and dynamic background may leave many executives somewhat puzzled.

The same goes when one has to prepare for compliance to mandatory programs.

Source: Michel Donner and Cornelis Kruk,
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