Security & Supply Chain: Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)

by Sterling J. Scott, Marketing Communications Coordinator, MHI | @mhi_sterling

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) was established by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. C-TPAT was established to improve supply chain security for private companies. There are over 10,000 participants, which account for 50% of imports into the United States by value; they include

  • U.S. importers of record
  • U.S./Canada and U.S./Mexico highway carriers
  • Rail, sea, and air carriers
  • U.S. marine port authority and terminal operators
  • U.S. air freight consolidators, ocean transportation intermediaries and non-vessel operating common carriers
  • Mexican manufacturers and certain invited foreign manufacturers
  • Licensed U.S. customs brokers
  • Third Party Logistics providers.

Under C-TPAT, companies partner with CBP to implement security measures and follow best practices in order to develop a security profile that is considered low-risk, which reduced the number of inspections. The benefits of being a participating company include:

  • A reduced number of CBP inspections
  • Priority processing for CBP inspections
  • Eligibility to attend C-TPAT training seminars

It is important for businesses to know what policies are driving supply chain security measures. It is also important for businesses to be aware of opportunities for better securing their supply chains and expediting the customs inspection process.