The U.S. Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) seeks to safeguard the world’s vibrant trade industry from terrorists, maintaining the economic health of the U.S. and its neighbors. The partnership develops and adopts measures that add security but do not have a chilling effect on trade, a difficult balancing act.

A growing partnership

The program began in November 2001. Today, there are more than 11,500 certified companies. CTPAT Members account for over 52% (by value) of all cargo imported into the United States.

Below is a breakdown of the 11,500+ CTPAT Certified companies:

  • U.S. Importers 4,139
  • U.S. Exporters 357
  • U.S. Customs Brokers 857
  • Consolidators 869
  • Air Carriers 38
  • Sea Carriers 78
  • Rail Carriers 11
  • Foreign Manufacturers 1,682
  • Marine Port Authority & Terminal Operators 66
  • Third Party Logistics Providers (3PLs) 111
  • Mexican Long Haul Carriers 430

Extending the Zone of U.S. Border Security

By extending the United States’ zone of security to the point of origin, the customs‐trade partnership allows for better risk assessment and targeting, freeing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to allocate inspectional resources to more questionable shipments.

Companies must be eligible and agree to comply with the CTPAT Security Criteria. In return CBP provides incentives and benefits like expedited processing.

How it works

When companies join the partnership, companies sign an agreement to work with CBP to protect the supply chain, identify security gaps, and implement specific security measures and best practices. Additionally, partners provide CBP with a security profile outlining the specific security measures the company has in place. Applicants must address a broad range of security topics and present security profiles that list action plans to align security throughout their supply chain.

CTPAT members are considered low‐risk and are therefore less likely to be examined. This designation is based on a company’s past compliance history, security profile, and the validation of a sample international supply chain.


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