Tighten security to guard against terrorists, but not at the expense of trade

  • 21 November 2002

ICC, the world business organization, issued a statement today on behalf of transport companies all over the globe, urging governments not to let tightened security measures slow down the flow of world trade.

In a statement which coincides with US government deliberations over introducing a 24-hour full disclosure rule for all in-bound cargo – also known as “Final Rule” – ICC is urging authorities to consult widely with industry before any extra security measures are undertaken.

The ICC statement on supply chain security was written after wide consultation with its members from international transport companies including Volkswagen, UPS and Neptune Orient Lines.

While acknowledging the need for effective security measures to protect the international transportation industry from terrorism, ICC’s member companies believe these measures should be cost-effective and based on established risk management practices.

“ICC believes that every effort should be made to implement this Rule in a manner that does not create undue burdens, unnecessary costs and delays in the delivery of goods to the US. ICC urges US Customs to consult closely with affected private sector parties. Measures should also be taken to prevent the unauthorized release of sensitive confidential company information,” the statement says.

“ICC calls on governments to bring industry leaders, including shippers, carriers and intermediaries, into discussions to work together in developing global standards and measures that will be effective and efficient without impeding international trade. National regulations on security should be developed in such a way as to be consistent with the standards and measures of international organizations.

“In developing new security safeguards, policy makers must be careful not to unnecessarily compromise or undermine the efficiency and reliability of the transportation industry or impose unnecessary costs.

“Moreover, international standards and measures should aim at uniformity, simplicity and ease of deployment from country to country. There will be counterproductive effects if companies are faced with many different and conflicting national approaches to improved security.”

The statement points to the “known shipper” programs as an effective security tool, resulting in greater transparency in the shipping industry without compromising sensitive commercial information.