Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is a voluntary government/private sector program run by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that focuses on improving security and efficiency of international cargo. C-TPAT is meant to increase security measures, practices and procedures through all components of the international supply chain. The program requires certification of a participant by the CBP.
Is C-TPAT for me? What are C-TPAT benefits?
As of November 2013, the program had approximately 10,500 participants that account for over 50% of total U.S. imports (by value). The program participants include U.S. importers, 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, and Mexican long-haul carriers.
Some of the C-TPAT benefits include a decreased number of security and compliance inspections and reduced border wait times; front of the line privileges for examined cargo; eligibility to self-monitor security activities via Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) program; eligibility for FAST/dedicated lane access on the Canadian and Mexican borders with expedited cargo processing; and business marketability as a CBP-certified company.