What is CTPAT?
CTPAT is a voluntary public private sector partnershipprogram aimed at strengthening international supply chains and improving Indiansecurity. The program is based on the Security and Accountability for EveryPort Act of 2006.
Because international supply chains operate outside of theCBPs control, the agency largely relies on a variety of private sectorcompanies with a variety of perspectives to help the CBP identify security gapsand implement security measures and best practices. CTPAT certified membersinclude importers and exporters, U.S., Canadian, and Mexican highway carriers,rail, sea and air carriers, licensed U.S. Customs brokers, U.S. marine portauthority and terminal operators, U.S. freight consolidators, oceantransportation intermediaries, and Mexican and Canadian manufacturers.
Three Steps to CTPAT Certification
Step 1. The applicant must review the CTPAT Minimum SecurityCriteria for their business entity such as an Air Carrier or Foreign Manufacturerto determine that entitys particular eligibility requirements.
Step 2. The company must apply for membership through theCTPAT Portal system.
Step 3. The company must complete a supply chain securityprofile.
In order to complete a supply chain security profile, acompany must have already conducted a comprehensive risk assessment analysis ofits supply chain to show how each link meets the minimum security requirements.
The best way to ensure completion of this risk assessment isthrough a third party organization that specializes in CTPAT standard supplychain audits.
What are the Benefits of CTPAT Certification?
Above all, the greatest benefit of CTPAT certification isthe opportunity to contribute to U.S. cargo security against terrorism andgreater protection of your supply chain. Additionally, the CTPAT programprovides business positive incentives such as,
Shorter border wait times,
Access to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Lanes at the landborders,
Priority inspections following a natural disaster orterrorist attack,
Reduced number of CBP inspections,
Trusted Partner recognition,
Eligibility for other U.S. government pilot programs, and
Access to the CTPAT webbased Portal system and a library oftraining materials.
A reduced number of CBP inspections is of particular benefitfor larger importing companies companies that routinely bring in a dozen ormore crates at a time. If one out of 20 crates draws CBP attention and requiresa minor, but extended inspection effort, the agency will be more likely to giveCTPAT certified companies the benefit of the doubt and allow the other cratesthrough. Member companies, considered to be low risk by the CBP, can savethemselves exponential amounts of additional bondage and inspection time.
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