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 Protection (CBP). Through the program, CBP works alongside the trade community to strengthen international supply chains and improve security at the United States borders. 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.
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 can 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 C-TPAT 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
- 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
In coordination with a COAC Working Group in late July of 2018, CBP proposed new Minimum Security Criteria (MSC) that will enhance supply chain security by updating some of the existing criteria and adding new MSCs. After a dialog and socializing period with the Trade, on May 3, 2019, CBP announced the finalization of updated Minimum Security Criteria. The new MSCs are documented in a series of MSC booklets, one for each business entity type eligible for CTPAT membership. Key additions to the MSCs include Corporate Security, Vision & Responsibility, Cybersecurity, and Agricultural Security.
Moreover, CBPs continued expansion and updates to the CTPAT program were demonstrated with the addition of a Trade Compliance Program for Tier III Importers. This program, incorporated from the legacy Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) Program, is voluntary and is built on the knowledge, trust, and willingness to maintain an ongoing relationship with CBP.
For those importers who apply and are accepted into the program, they gain additional benefits such as penalty mitigation, CTPAT Defender program (anti-identity theft program), expedited rulings, removal from the focused assessment pool, and other benefits.
CBP recommends members implement the updated MSCs throughout the remainder of 2019. New CTPAT applications and CBP validations beginning in 2020 will be expected to comply with the updated MSCs.
To learn more about the updated Minimum Security Criteria, logon to your CTPAT portal or follow the instructions below to setup a guest portal account:
- Using your internet browser, navigate to the CTPAT Portal homepage
- Click on "Register New Trade User"
- Create a user profile. Once all mandatory fields (*) are complete, click the "Submit" button
- Create a password
- Select "Create a trade account"
- Complete the company information tab
- To add an address, go to the "Addresses" tab and click the "Add" button. Once mandatory fields are complete, click "Save to the list below"
- Click "Save"
- Under "Trade Account Information" menu, select "Documents"
Apply for CTPAT
CTPAT Minimum Security Criteria and Guidelines
CTPAT application FAQ
Information source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection website