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ANSI reports on global supply chain security

The American National Standards Institute(ANSI) Homeland Security Standards Panel(HSSP) has released a workshop report examining approaches to safeguarding international supply chains – which rely heavily on transportation and postal infrastructure – from the dangers posed by counterfeiting, security threats, and other issues. The two-day event, Global Supply Chain Security Standards, was held September 12-13, 2012, in Washington, DC, and included representatives of government agencies and standards developing organizations (SDOs), among others. Participants examined the current US national strategy related to global supply chain protection, as well as the status of related standards being developed by public and private groups.

The workshop focused on security measures that seek to ensure the quality and safety of the global supply chain, which plays an essential part in the US and international economies.

During the workshop’s first discussion, White House Global Supply Chain Security Strategy Implementation Plan, participants looked at the US government’s national strategy to bolster the resiliency of global supply chains. In January 2012, the White House issued a strategic document, titled National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security, that set down recommendations for safeguarding key elements of the worldwide system while allowing for the timely, efficient shipment of goods to and from the United States. While numerous standards related to trade and transportation exist, speakers suggested that only a small percentage of current standards supported the national strategy, suggesting that new or updated standards were required.

The second discussion, International Policy and Perspective, examined supply chain issues and security approaches, with a focus on international cooperation. Participants discussed recent agreements between the US and European Union based on a common, risk-based, and cost-effective approaches to transportation and supply chain security. Also highlighted was the SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade, which was adopted by the World Customs Organization (WCO) Council in 2005 in an effort to bolster standards that work to safeguard supply chain security and facilitation. The discussion also touched on the importance of addressing costs related to standards and testing in this area, as well as the need for flexible global guidelines to compliment relevant technical standards.

As part of US Federal Programs and Perspectives, the third panel discussion, participants looked at the activities of a DHS working group on risk characterization related to the supply chain, as well as plans for a joint US-EU Supply Chain Security pilot program, and information related to the 2001 Maritime Transportation Security Act, which mandates investigation into anti-terrorism protections being taken at ports in other nations.

During the workshop’s fourth panel discussion, Private-Sector Programs and Perspectives, participants suggested that a single system of global supply chain standardization, based on a uniform conformity assessment approach, would be the preferred way to address the safety and security of international supply chains. The discussion touched on the Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism (C-TPAT) initiative, which embeds its security criteria in private contracts with related vendors and suppliers, using the negative financial effects of failing to comply to help enforce compliance. The use of internal assessment tools by private organizations – notably in the screening of air cargo – in the place of third-party security assessments was also discussed.

The fifth discussion, Anti-Counterfeiting in the Supply Chain, looked at ways to address the growing issues worldwide related to counterfeiting, which is thought to cost the US $250 billion in economic costs and 750,000 lost jobs each year.

The full workshop report is available here.

•Date: 11th Jan 2013 • US •Type: Article • Topic: Operational risk

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