Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)

Cross-border security requirements are becoming ever more rigorous. Failure to satisfy internationally recognized guidelines and legal requirements may result in your shipments being seized, delayed, or even destroyed at enormous cost to your business.

In response to the terrorism attacks of 11th September, 2001 the United States Government introduced the US Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) initiative to reduce the risk of weapons of mass destruction entering its ports undetected.

Under C-TPAT, importers are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure the integrity of their supply chains. The benefits of membership are numerous. As an example, by one estimate, shipments from member importers will clear customs up to ten times faster than their non-compliant counterparts.

For further details on the U.S. Customs C-TPAT initiative please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

A Full Menu of C-TPAT Services
Your supply chain is more complicated than you might think. With a wide network of suppliers, some large, some small, some experienced and some new, spread over many countries, effectively assuring a secure and compliant supply chain is a daunting challenge. Best’s security expertise will help guide you.

Since the inception of the C-TPAT initiative, Best has supported its clients in a wide variety of capacities:

Supply Chain Security Risk Analyses
Design Distribution and Analysis of Facility Security Assessments
Onsite Consultancy for Factories and Consolidation Sites
Importer C-TPAT Validations in China in support of US Customs under the C-TPAT Validators Third Party Pilot Program
Best has designed and implemented C-TPAT programs for a variety of clients with Tier I, Tier II and Tier III membership aspirations
Facility Security Audits
Your supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Under C-TPAT, importers are required to work with their foreign business partners to bring their physical layout, operations, administration and systems into line with the C-TPAT security benchmarks.

Best offers onsite assessments of factories, carriers and consolidation sites benchmarking them against the standards laid down by CBP under the C-TPAT initiative.

Using the same methodology Best employs for a C-TPAT Validation, Best offers a multi-faceted approach to facility security audits:
Opening Meeting
Management Interviews
Site Tour
Worker Interviews
Document Review
Closing Meeting
Facility Remediation
We work hand in hand with your suppliers. Problems identified in a security audit will be addressed with a Corrective Action Plan, a remediation exercise calculated to raise your suppliers’ standards. Our security teams will work with your suppliers, recommending solutions and, by binding the facility to a remediation schedule, securing for you a genuine commitment that all identified problems will be resolved within a realistic timeframe.

With our support you will have complete visibility of your suppliers’ security practices. They will be well placed to make real security improvements. Furthermore, you will have evidence of a rigorous supply chain security program, in support of your C-TPAT membership obligations.

Facility Consultancy Services
Supply chain security is of ever growing importance to manufacturers exporting to the US, the EU, Australia and New Zealand. Customs Organizations have given strong indications that it will form an integral part of their standards going forward.

C-TPAT Benefits
C-TPAT Partners enjoy a variety of benefits, including taking an active role in working closer with the U.S. Government in its war against terrorism. As they do this, Partners are able to better identify their own security vulnerabilities and take corrective actions to mitigate risks. Some of the benefits of the program include:
• Reduced number of CBP examinations
• Front of the line inspections
• Possible exemption from Stratified Exams
• Shorter wait times at the border
• Assignment of a Supply Chain Security Specialist to the company
• Access to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Lanes at the land borders
• Access to the C-TPAT web-based Portal system and a library of training materials
• Possibility of enjoying additional benefits by being recognized as a trusted trade Partner by foreign Customs administrations that have signed Mutual Recognition with the United States
• Eligibility for other U.S. Government pilot programs, such as the Food and Drug Administration’s Secure Supply Chain program
• Business resumption priority following a natural disaster or terrorist attack
• Importer eligibility to participate in the Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA)
• Priority consideration at CBP’s industry-focused Centers of Excellence and Expertise

A Growing Partnership
From its inception in November 2001, C-TPAT continued to grow. Today, more than 11,400 certified partners spanning the gamut of the trade community have been accepted into the program. The partners include U.S. importers/exporters, 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, all of whom account for over 52 percent (by value) of cargo imported into the U.S.
How C-TPAT works
When an entity joins C-TPAT, 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.
C‐TPAT members are considered to be of low risk, and are therefore less likely to be examined at a U.S. port of entry.