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Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)

C-TPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships to strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and U.S. border security. A secure supply chain aids in keeping our country safe. It takes the cooperation and diligence of all parties within the international supply chain to ensure cargo security.

CBP offers many benefits to becoming a certified C-TPAT member:

  • A reduced number of CBP inspections (reduced border delay times).
  • Priority processing for CBP inspections. (Front of the Line processing for inspections when possible.)
  • Assignment of a C-TPAT Supply Chain Security Specialist (SCSS) who will work with the company to validate and enhance security throughout the company’s international supply chain.
  • Potential eligibility for CBP Importer Self-Assessment program (ISA) with an emphasis on self-policing, not CBP audits.
  • Eligibility to attend C-TPAT supply chain security training seminars.

All companies should verify the security guidelines of their business partners. These guidelines are available on CBP’s website in the links provided below.
Please contact Beth Morris should you require additional C-TPAT information.


More information on the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) Program
Security Guidelines and C-TPAT Minimum Security Criteria
To Apply for a C-TPAT
C-TPAT Validation Process


The Seven-Point Inspection
The 17-Point Inspection
Conduct a Systemic Inspection
Inspection Points
Seal Inspection


The seven-point inspection process for empty containers prior to the loading the cargo, as well as the seventeen-point inspection process for all trailers/tractors, should be followed. View the CBP’s container inspection presentation in its entirety here.

All seals used to secure loaded containers and trailers bound for the U.S. must have an ISO 17712 high-security seal affixed and the seal must meet or exceed the current ISO 17712 standards for high security seals.

You must have procedures in place for recognizing and reporting compromised seals to CBP or the appropriate foreign authority.