The U.S. Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) seeks to safeguard the world’s vibrant trade industry from terrorists, maintaining the economic health of the U.S. and its neighbors. The partnership develops and adopts measures that add security but do not have a chilling effect on trade, a difficult balancing act.

A Growing Partnership

The program began in November 2001. Today, there are more than 11,325 certified companies. These companies account for over 54 percent of what is imported into the United States.

Below is a breakdown of the 11,325 C-TPAT Certified companies:

  • U.S. Importers 4,246
  • U.S. Exporters 492
  • U.S. Customs Brokers 867
  • Consolidators / 3PLs 984
  • Carriers (Airlines, Sea Carriers, Cross Border Trucking Companies) 3,153
  • Canadian & Mexican Manufacturers 1,518
  • Marine Port Terminal Operators 65

Extending the Zone of U.S. Border Security

By extending the United States’ zone of security to the point of origin, the customs‐trade partnership allows for better risk assessment and targeting, freeing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to allocate inspectional resources to more questionable shipments.Companies must be eligible and agree to comply with the C-TPAT Security Criteria. In return CBP provides incentives and benefits like expedited processing.

How it works

When companies join the partnership, companies sign an agreement to work with CBP to protect the supply chain, identify security gaps, and implement specific security measures and best practices. Additionally, partners provide CBP with a security profile outlining the specific security measures the company has in place.

Key security topics are described in detail in the following links:

CTPAT members are considered low‐risk and are therefore less likely to be examined. This designation is based on a company’s past compliance history, security profile, and the validation of a sample international supply chain.

Below are some of the benefits your company may receive depending upon your type of company.

Reduction in U.S. Customs Inspections

When cargo is imported, CBP assigns an undisclosed risk value to each shipment; assessing such risk factors as country of origin, supplier, type of product, developed intelligence.

When a CTPAT certified company imports cargo, CBP deducts points from the risk value. This results in the imported cargo being placed in a preferred category. Even if the shipment is selected to be inspected, the process is faster if the shipment is being imported by a CTPAT certified U.S. importer.

Front of the Line Privileges granted to full C-TPAT containers / trailers that are selected for an examination to the extent possible and practicable the containers / trailers can be moved ahead of any non CTPAT containers/trailers awaiting exam, regardless of how long they have been there.

In the event of a national emergency or terrorist act, which results in the closing of an airport, land or sea port of Entry; CTPAT certified shipments will have priority access into the U.S. once the U.S. Port of Entry reopens.

Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Lanes
Expedited clearance across the borders between the U.S. & Canada / U.S. & Mexico via dedicated FAST lanes.

Additional Benefits

  • Maintain business relationship with an existing customer that is requiring your Company to be certified
  • Obtain new customers
  • Increase competitiveness
  • Minimize the probability of a disruption to your supply chain
  • Improve predictability in importing cargo from abroad or transporting cargo to the U.S.