Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., the government has launched sweeping initiatives to beef up supply chain security. It can be truly daunting for a company, however, to even attempt to wade through all the regulations and proposed legislation that relate to carriers, shippers, trailers, containers, and cargo. Fortunately, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals ( has come up with a shortlist of the essential rules you need to know about and comply with. Here, culled from the council’s list, are some key statutes and regulatory initiatives:

Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002

This rule requires that food industry facilities register with the FDA as well as provide advance notification to the FDA of food imports by land, sea, or air. Read the full text of the act at, or check out the very helpful FDA guide at

Trade Act of 2002

If you ship cargo by sea, you must report the contents of your shipments to U.S. Customs; undocumented cargo is subject to penalties. You must also provide advance electronic information about your imports and exports by sea and land. To learn more, visit

Cargo Theft Prevention Act

(H.R. 3563, bill pending in Congress) This bill aims to create a federal database of cargo thefts for law enforcement. Shippers and carriers would provide voluntary reporting. For more information, visit

Container Security Initiative (CSI)

With the CSI, which would use automated information and detection technology, the government expects to screen and target suspicious containers at foreign ports that send shipments to the U.S. For more information, visit

Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)

Businesses and U.S. Customs work together to enhance supply chain security by implementing secure procedures and documentation. Membership carries numerous benefits, including expedited shipment processing. For more information, visit

Free and Secure Trade (FAST)

The FAST program coordinates U.S., Canadian, and Mexican security initiatives for cargo shipments. Participants must qualify and all freight must originate from shippers with C-TPAT certification. For more information, visit

Prior Notice of Imported Food Program

These FDA regulations require registration of food facilities and specify mandates for advance notice of food and feed imports. For more information, visit