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What is C-TPAT and How will it Affect the Shipping of Your Commercial Goods?

Running an international supply chain is a tough task. You have a ton of logistical issues and concerns to keep track of while making sure those items are delivered on time and intact.

After September 11, this task was made even harder due to increased security concerns. Border security quickly became one of the top priorities to keep people safe.

If you run a shipping company, you might consider applying for the C-TPAT to make border checks easier while contributing to the efforts of keeping US borders safe.

Read on to learn all about this security initiative.

What Is C-TPAT?

US Customs and Border Protection has the task of keeping America’s borders safe. To do this, they normally subject incoming shipments and deliveries to inspections.

The C-TPAT is a voluntary initiative that businesses can sign up for to play an active role in this task. The initiative allows businesses to develop security assessments and programs to keep their supply chains safe.

Signing up for this initiative requires application and guidance from CBP. Doing so can offer several unique advantages for your business.


Taking an active role in the security of American borders can help your supply chain.

First, the C-TPAT will allow you to develop better security measures for your shipping operations. This can keep your cargo and shipments secure while helping CBP prevent any possible security breaches.

Second, these internal checks will allow your cargo to get across US borders with fewer CBP checks and with priority treatment during the security inspections. CBP also offers unique training and information to members who have signed up for the C-TPAT.

Things To Know

In order to qualify for this initiative, there are few things that businesses have to commit to. The assessment and development of supply-chain security measures is most important. CBP will help you assess your current security standards and develop a program using their guidelines to keep your cargo safe.

Final validation will be required, which will involve a CBP inspection of your supply chain and security plans. Annual assessments will also be common to ensure that your security measures continue to meet requirements. Often times, these standards change depending on current security threats, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on these guidelines.

Once you have final approval, you can expect your business to reap the benefits by having CBP support and a more secure supply chain.

Weighing Your Options

It’s important to figure out what is best for your business and supply chain needs. The C-TPAT is completely voluntary, so you may decide it’s not right for you.

Choosing to participate can offer several benefits for your business and supply chain including greater security and control over your services. The process doesn’t have to be complicated if you are interested. CVP offers many guidelines to help you through the steps necessary to qualify.

If you are interested, feel free to get in touch with us for more information and guidance. Since we ship internationally, we know all about how to make the C-TPAT work for you.