Program and purpose

The U.S. Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program, called CTPAT, is a voluntary partnership program between the United States Customs and Border Protection and companies involved in the international transportation of cargo.

PMK International LLC has been CTPAT-certified since 2006.  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. This includes assessing and mitigating the risk of our supply chain trade partners.

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

It is our intent to work with our business partners as a team to improve our supply chain security practices. 

Find more information in this CTPAT Brochure .


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


The sealing of trailers and containers, to include continuous seal integrity, are crucial elements of a secure supply chain. Seals used to secure loaded containers and trailers bound for the U.S. must meet or exceed the current PAS ISO 17712 standards for high security seals. All loaded U.S.-bound containers and trailers must have a PAS ISO 17712 high-security seal affixed.

Agricultural Security

Agricultural MSC represents significant areas of risk and non-compliance; and each trade chain partner plays a role in reducing agriculture risk.

CTPAT Bulletin: CTPAT Bulletin Agriculture Security MSC 8.1 provides examples of non-compliant agriculture inspections and requirements for Wood Packaging Materials (WPM). For entities handling palletized cargo (using wooden pallets), pallets must have a legitimate wheat stamp and must be heat treated or fumigated in accordance with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) regulations.

Risk Assessment

In order to assist C-TPAT Partners with conducting a risk assessment of their international supply chain(s) in accordance with C-TPAT minimum security criteria, the 5 Step Risk Assessment Process is recommended. This 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