Program and purpose

The CTPAT program is a voluntary partnership program between the United States Customs and Border Protection and companies involved in the international transportation of cargo.

The CTPAT objective is to improve global supply chain security by ensuring partners have implemented the appropriate supply chain security procedures. Certified partners must continuously demonstrate compliance with CTPAT security criteria.

We strongly recommend CTPAT certification for all eligible companies and require it of our partners. If your company is not eligible, we request that you still comply with the CTPAT security criteria.


CTPAT membership is available to the following types of businesses:

  • U.S. importers of record
  • U.S./Canada cross border highway carriers
  • U.S./Mexico cross border highway carriers, rail carriers, sea carriers, air carriers
  • U.S. Marine Port Authority/terminal operators
  • U.S. freight consolidators, ocean transportation intermediaries and non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCC’s)
  • Mexican and Canadian manufacturers
  • certain invited foreign manufacturers outside North America, and 
  • Licensed U.S. Customs brokers.

Security procedures

Security procedures are critical at the point of stuffing for proper inspection, sealing and maintenance to ensure the integrity of the shipping containers and trailers.

  • There is a seven-point inspection process for empty containers prior to loading the cargo.
  • There is a seventeen-point inspection process for all trailers/tractors

Risk Assessment

The 5-Step Risk Assessment Process includes:

  • Mapping Cargo Flow and Identifying Business Partners (directly or indirectly contracted)
  • Conducting a Threat Assessment focusing on: Terrorism, Contraband Smuggling, Human Smuggling, Organized Crime, and conditions in a country/region which may foster such threats and rate threat – High, Medium, Low
  • Conducting a Vulnerability Assessment in accordance with C-TPAT Minimum Security Criteria and rate vulnerability – High, Medium, Low
  • Preparing an Action Plan
  • Documenting How Risk Assessments are Conducted