Japan’s regulations require that, 24 hours before a ship departs the U.S., the shipping line has to electronically transmit all the U.S. export data to Japanese authorities, including the cargo seller, the Japanese buyer, the destination of the shipment and other details.
Shipping lines want the information from exporters even earlier so they won’t have to disrupt their cargo plan if Japan rejects a shipment.
That’s already a strain on perishable exporters, he said, and adding a CTPAT secure supply chain program for exports may prove damaging, he said.
There has never been a known instance where U.S. agriculture exports have created a security risk to other countries, Friedmann said.
The benefits of participation in the export security program are unclear, he said.
“What they are now selling to us is that if you are CTPAT certified, these other countries like Japan, China and European Union will respect that and give you expedited inflow into those countries,” he said.
That message has not yet come from those countries, however, he said.
Friedmann said the regulation on exports could perhaps be the greatest impediment to achieving President Obama’s objective of doubling exports, adding the CBP needs to enhance efforts to understand exports and reach out to the trade and understand agriculture and forest product exports.
The Agriculture Transportation Coalition’s annual meeting on June 25-27 in San Francisco will feature U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials talking about the program. An agenda for the meeting can be found at the group’s website.
NOTE ON CORRECTION: The original story had the wrong date for the inception of the CTPAT program.