CTPAT: Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism

Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) is part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) multi-layered cargo enforcement strategy. Through this program, CBP works with the trade community to strengthen international supply chains and improve United States border security.

CTPAT is a voluntary public-private sector partnership program which recognizes that CBP can provide the highest level of cargo security only through close cooperation with the principal 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.

International Associates Limited is able to carry out CTPAT audits for suppliers exporting goods into the USA.

This program calls upon importing businesses and service providers to establish policies enhancing their own security practices and those of business partners involved in the supply chain, based on the following C-TPAT security criteria:

Business Partners Requirements Container SecurityPhysical Access Control sPersonnel SecuritySecurity Training & Threat AwarAwareness Informationhnology Security.

Once these policies are given effect, imports by these businesses would be given a “Fast Lane” by US Customs.

How CTPAT works

When a supplier joins 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 must address a broad range of security topics and present security profiles that list action plans to align security throughout the supply chain.

CTPAT members are considered to be of low risk and are therefore less likely to be examined at a U.S. port of entry.

Participation in CTPAT is voluntary and there are no costs associated with joining the program and can be done online.

Step 1 The company should to review the CTPAT Minimum Security Criteria for their business entity to determine eligibility for the program and complete a risk assessment of its procedures and processes.

Step 2 Submit a basic application via the CTPAT Portal system and to agree to voluntarily participate.

Step 3 complete a supply chain security profile. The security profile explains how the company is meeting CTPAT’s minimum security criteria.

Upon satisfactory completion of the application and supply chain security profile, the applicant company is assigned a CTPAT Supply Chain Security Specialist to review the submitted materials and to provide program guidance on an on-going basis.

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