CTPAT Security Criteria

CTPAT is a voluntary, joint government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen the overall supply chain and border security.  Every person who is involved in logistics, distribution or supply chain management will be impacted by ongoing efforts to create a more secure global trading system.  Traditionally, the approach to cargo security was focused on keeping in the box the goods that were supposed to be in the box. Now, the focus is to ensure that things that are not supposed to be in the box are actually kept out of the box.  CTPAT members are now expected to be able to demonstrate that all aspects of this process are under control throughout the supply chain.

One of the CTPAT requirements is to educate our supply chain partners whether they are a CTPAT member or not on the criticality of having security procedures in place at the point of stuffing, procedures to inspect, properly seal and maintain the integrity of the shipping containers and trailers.

For CTPAT importers, effective 2020, all foreign stuffing facilities, such as a foreign suppliers and/or foreign consolidators, they MUST conduct the seven-point inspection process for empty containers prior to the loading of cargo as well as the seventeen-point inspection process for all trailers/tractors.

Crucial elements of a secure supply chain consist of the sealing of trailers and containers and MUST include continuous seal integrity. These seals MUST meet or exceed the current ISO 17712 standards for high security.

All loaded U.S. bound containers and trailers MUST have an ISO 17712 high-security seal affixed.

The business partner, MUST institute proceedings for recognizing and reporting compromised seals to CBP or the appropriate foreign authority.

Some CTPAT links that you may find of interest are as follows:

  1. CTPAT minimum criteria by category: https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry/cargo-security/c-tpat-customs-trade-partnership-against-terrorism/apply/security-criteria 
  2. ISO Seals: http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Bulletin%20-%20April%202014%20-%20ISO%2017712%20High%20Security%20Seals.pdf 
  3. Report Suspicious Activity: https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2016-Mar/ctpat-report-suspicious-activity.pdf
  4. Container Seal Inspection-https://www.normanjaspanassociates.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/ContainerTrailerandSealInspectionProcedures.pdf


Minimum Security Criteria Booklets - April 2019

Additional 2019 security protocol information on the following subjects can be found here:

  1. Importers
  2. Consolidators
  3. Customs Brokers
  4. Highway Carriers
  5. Foreign Manufacturer
  6. Mexican Long Haul
  7. Third party logistics
  8. Air Carriers
  9. Marine Port Authority
  10. Rail Carriers
  11. Sea Carriers
  12. Exporters