SUPPLY CHAIN SECURITY – CBP Works with International Entities to Promote Global Customs Security Standards and Initiatives, but Challenges Remain, GAO, August 2008 (CORE1009)

Summary: This report discusses how the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has (1) contributed to international supply chain security standards and (2) promoted mutual recognition in the customs security area and (3) how the agency expects to implement the 100% scanning requirement of the containerized US-bound maritime cargo. The report provides a detailed outlook on the US customs supply chain security scheme, and it highlights challenges and problems that the US government faces in promoting its supply chain security strategy internationally. The development and the implementation of the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards, a suite of best practices on customs security, is a central theme throughout this GAO report. Because of its broad scope, the customs-related supply chain security, this document contains information that is likely to be useful for all CORE work packages, and especially for those that involve customs administrations. The report is available at

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Full review: This document provides a detailed outlook on customs-centric supply chain security from the US government’s perspective. This unique view on the customs security is going to be useful for the CORE’s early work packages that seek to describe the state-of-the-art of the global supply chain security. The information is also useful for the CORE demonstrations, in which customs administrations are involved. In particular, the demonstrations (WP9 and WP14) that are about US-bound trade and logistics benefit from the detailed description of the customs security initiatives that the US government has introduced since the 9/11 tragedy.


  • Supply Chain Security: Challenges to Scanning 100 Percent of U.S.-Bound Cargo Containers. GAO-08-533T. Washington, D.C.: June 12, 2008.
  • Supply Chain Security: Examinations of High-Risk Cargo at Foreign Seaports Have Increased, but Improved Data Collection and Performance Measures Are Needed. GAO-08-187. Washington, D.C.: January 25, 2008.
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  • Maritime Security: The SAFE Port Act and Efforts to Secure Our Nation’s Seaports. GAO-08-86T. Washington, D.C.: October 4, 2007.
  • Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Additional Actions Needed to Ensure Adequate Testing of Next Generation Radiation Detection Equipment. GAO-07-1247T. Washington, D.C.: September 18, 2007.
  • Maritime Security: Observations on Selected Aspects of the SAFE Port Act. GAO-07-754T. April 26, 2007.
  • Customs Revenue: Customs and Border Protection Needs to Improve Workforce Planning and Accountability. GAO-07-529. Washington, D.C.: April 12, 2007.
  • Cargo Container Inspections: Preliminary Observations on the Status of Efforts to Improve the Automated Targeting System. GAO-06-591T. Washington, D.C.: March 30, 2006.
  • Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Efforts to Deploy Radiation Detection Equipment in the United States and in Other Countries. GAO-05-840T. Washington, D.C.: June 21, 2005.
  • Container Security: A Flexible Staffing Model and Minimum Equipment Requirements Would Improve Overseas Targeting and Inspection Efforts. GAO-05-557. Washington, D.C.: April 26, 2005.

Additional keywords: Mutual recognition, regulatory harmonization, 100% scanning legislation, SAFE framework of standards, World Customs Organizations, Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) programs, Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism



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