What is the goal of CTPAT?
The goal of CTPAT is to create a secure environment in any given company by continually certifying, maintaining and evaluating the security of the supply chain and the transportation industry.
Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) is a voluntary partnership program between the public and private sectors. The partnership is just one aspect of the cargo enforcement strategy of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Through the program, CBP works alongside the trade community to strengthen international supply chains and improve security at the United States border. The partnership recognizes that CBP provides the highest level of cargo security through close cooperation with the principle stakeholders of the international supply chain such as importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers. The Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 provided a statutory framework for the CTPAT program and imposed strict program oversight requirements.
Since its inception in November 2001, CTPAT has partnered with more than 11,400 members of the trade community. The partners eligible for the program include:
- U.S. importers/exporters
- U.S./Canada highway carriers
- U.S./Mexico highway carriers
- Rail and sea carriers
- Licensed U.S. Customs brokers
- U.S. marine port authority/terminal operators
- U.S. freight consolidators
- Ocean transportation intermediaries and non‐operating common carriers
- Mexican and Canadian manufacturers
- Mexican long‐haul carriers
How CTPAT works
When joining CTPAT, an agreement is made to work with CBP to protect the supply chain, identify security gaps, and implement specific security measures and best practices. Applicants to the program are required to address a wide range of security topics and present profiles that list action plans to align security throughout their supply chain.
CTPAT Partners are able to take an active role in working alongside the U.S. Government in the war against terrorism. Partners are then able to better identify their own security vulnerabilities and take corrective actions to mitigate risks. More benefits include:
- Reduced number of CBP examinations
- Front of the line inspections
- Possible exemption from Stratified Exams
- Shorter wait times at the border
- Assignment of a Supply Chain Security Specialist to the company
- Access to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Lanes at the land borders
- Access to the CTPAT web-based Portal system and a library of training materials
- 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
- Business resumption priority following a natural disaster or terrorist attack
- Importer eligibility to participate in the Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA)
- Priority consideration at CBP’s industry-focused Centers of Excellence and Expertise
Apply for CTPAT
CTPAT application FAQ
Information source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection website