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Flexport is a member of various programs such as Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT), Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) and Regulated Agent (RA) to improve supply chain security and facilitate the movement of legitimate international trade. To remain participants in these programs, we are required to screen the entities with which we do business at least annually in order to ensure security across the supply chains in which we participate. As a Flexport client, you will receive an email with a link to complete the questionnaire annually.
Q: Do I need to fill out a security questionnaire for every one of my associated company entities?
No, our system supports the automated approval of one questionnaire for multiple entities; however, this is only possible if all entities have the same security protocols. If your company is associated with multiple entities, you will have an option in the online questionnaire to specify this information. If your entities have differing security protocols, a separate questionnaire will be required for each entity. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to email@example.com to discuss.
Q. How long does the questionnaire take to fill out?
It depends. There are three options:
- If you are a participant in a global security program: 7-10 questions / time = <5 minutes
- If you are not a participant in a global security program AND do not handle cargo directly: ~50 questions / time = <20 minutes
- If you are not a participant in a global security program AND you handle cargo directly: ~80 questions / time = <30 minutes
Q. How often do I need to fill out the questionnaire?
The Compliance Security questionnaire is valid for one year in most cases. In the event there are serious security breaches or incidents, Flexport may require an entity to resubmit a questionnaire showing updates to the process to avoid future occurrences.
Q. Who can fill out the questionnaire?
Any employee with knowledge of the company entity’s participation in a security program or security protocols may fill out the questionnaire. Yes, any employee who understands your supply chain and the security measures you have in place, can fill this questionnaire out. This might be someone on the logistics team or it might be someone in a customs or compliance role. The questionnaire must be signed and Flexport will treat the responses provided as truth.
European clients: This means the employee submitting the questionnaire does not have to be an authorized signer listed on the chamber of commerce registration. As stated above, it can be submitted by any employee who understands the supply chain and the security measures.
Q. Is the questionnaire available in another language?
Yes, the questionnaire is available in PDF form in Spanish, German and simplified Chinese. If you need to request one, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Filling out the online questionnaire is simply not feasible for me. Is there another process I can use?
Yes, we have a PDF version of the questionnaire that can be provided to you in various languages. Please contact email@example.com to request.
Q. What can I do if my shipment is blocked?
If your shipment is blocked because you have not filled out the questionnaire, we recommend you do so immediately. If you need a new questionnaire link sent to you, please reach out to your contact at Flexport to request. Your Flexport representative can easily send you another questionnaire or put you in touch with our Compliance team if necessary.
Q. Many of the questions are CTPAT specific, do I still need to do this if I don’t ship to the US?
Flexport is not only a CTPAT participant but a participant to many supply chain security programs around the world such as AEO-S (EU/Asia), Regulated Agent (Asia), and PIP (Canada). Vetting the parties Flexport works with in the supply chain, including clients, is an integral part of complying with these programs. We take Compliance very seriously at Flexport and participating in these programs will allow us to better support our clients globally.
Q. What are the benefits of being a part of the CTPAT program or a Mutually Recognized Arrangement (MRA)?
Some of the benefits of CTPAT include:
- Reduced number of CBP examinations
- Front of the line inspections
- Possible exemption from Stratified Exams
- Shorter wait times at the border
- Possibility of enjoying additional benefits by being recognized as a trusted trade Partner by foreign Customs administrations that have signed Mutual Recognition with the United States
- Eligibility for other U.S. Government pilot programs, such as the Food and Drug Administration’s Secure Supply Chain program
- Access to the CTPAT web-based Portal system and a library of training materials
European AEO certification benefits include:
- Clients recognize AEO certified companies as secure and safe business partners
- Fewer physical and document-based Customs inspections
- Prior notification in case of selection for a physical and document-based Customs inspection
- There are also indirect benefits such as fewer shipment delays, improved planning and customer service, as well as improved relations with Customs and other government authorities.
Q. What if I don’t want to complete the questionnaire?
This new questionnaire is now a requirement to do business with Flexport. We are happy to connect you with someone on our Compliance team to answer any questions you have or discuss your concerns. Flexport is committed to ensuring and empowering the supply chain globally, including security and access to services. Flexport as a partner within the supply chain security programs is able to often times extend these benefits to its clients/partners or support clients/partners in becoming participants themselves.