C-TPAT Audit

C-TPAT (Customs–Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) is a voluntary, joint government-business partnership to help add to supply chain and increase border security.

C-TPAT is a United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initiative that stands for Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. C-TPAT is a voluntary program where participants work to protect supply chains from the concealment of terrorist weapons including weapons of mass destruction.

This partnership is for organizations involved in the global supply chain including United States importers, customs brokers, terminal operators, carriers and foreign manufacturers.

Companies wishing to be C-TPAT participants must complete an application and conduct a self assessment of their supply chain security procedures against the C-TPAT criteria or guidelines jointly developed by CBP and the trade community. Upon satisfactory completion of the online application, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection C-TPAT Supply Chain Security Specialist will contact the participant to begin the validation process.

C-TPAT was launched in November 2001 and began with seven initial participants. According to U.S. Customs Border Protection (CBP), there are more than 10,000 certified partners. Nearly half of this number are importer


Benefits of C-TPAT Audit 

  • The potential benefits from C-TPAT certification is a measurable increase in the speed of freight and a reduction of fees.  These benefits are assisted by :
  • Access to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lanes at land borders
  • The ability to move to the front of inspection lines
  • A lesser potential of CBP examinations and an exemption from Stratified Exams (SEs)
  • Shorter wait times at the border
  • Access to the C-TPAT Status Verification Interface (SVI)
  • A CBP Supply Chain Security Specialist (SCSS) assigned to the company
  • Eligibility for other U.S. Government pilot programs such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Secure Supply Chain (SSC) program
  • The potential to participate in the Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA)
  • And others

Process for C-TPAT Audit
There are three steps to C-TPAT certification :

  • The first step is for the company to conduct and fully document a security risk assessment
  • The second step is for the company to submit a basic application via the C-TPAT Portal system
  • The third step is for the company to complete a supply chain security profile which explains how the company is meeting C-TPAT’s minimum security criteria


Upon satisfactory completion of the application and supply chain security profile, CBP reviews the submitted materials. The CBP C-TPAT program will then have up to 90-days to certify the company into the program or to reject the application. If certified, the company will be validated within three years of certification.

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