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The United States Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism (C-TPAT) was created to safeguard the world's ever booming trade industry from the threat of terrorists. At the same time C-TPAT also manages to maintain the economic health of the United States and its neighbors. The program which started back in November 2001 is now about 11,000 certified companies strong and these companies account for almost 54% in value of what is imported in to the U.S.

C-TPAT is a completely voluntary, joint government business partnership which adds to the supply chain and increases border security. Despite major advances made against terrorism on different fronts nowadays, the corporate supply chains are at maximum risk to security threats than before.

How does C-TPAT Work?

When companies become a part of the partnership, they sign an agreement to work with the Customs and Border Protection to identify the security gaps, protect the supply chain, and implement certain security measures and best practices. Apart from this, companies also provide CBP with an outline of what security measures they have in place.

Applicants have to make sure they cover a wide range of security topics and present the security profiles which include a brief description of all action plans throughout their supply chain. C-TPAT members are considered as low-risk and are very rarely examined. The designation is provided to a company based on their security profile, past compliance history, and a validation of a sample international supply chain.

What are the Benefits of C-TPAT Certification?

Being part of the C-TPAT certified group comes with its own set of benefits for the companies. Some of the most important C-TPAT benefits include -

  • C-TPAT enables companies to move ahead in the line for inspection
  • Companies get access to Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lanes at the borders
  • There is lesser probability that the CBP will conduct any inspections and there will be an exemption from Stratified Exams
  • Shorter wait times at the borders for passage
  • Companies gain access to the C-TPAT Status Verification Interface
  • A dedicated CBP Supply Chain Security Specialist is assigned to every company
  • This membership makes the company eligible for other government programs such as U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Secure Supply Chain
  • C-TPAT gives companies accesses to participate in the Importer Self-Assessment Program

Why is C-TPAT Important?

When any goods are imported, the CBP assigns an unknown risk value to each shipment such as supplier, country of origin, developed intelligence, type of product, etc. When a C-TPAT certified company imports any goods, the CBP deducts some points from the risk value. Due to this the imported goods is placed in a preferred category. Even if the shipment is needed to be inspected the process is much faster.

This results in reducing the custom fees, inspection fees, cargo fees, faster time to market, and has an immediate effect on the company's bottom line.

How to Become C-TPAT Certified?

Being C-TPAT certified takes a lot of effort on the company's part and basically has three steps. The basic process of getting a C-TPAT certification is as follows -

  1. In the first step the company is expected to conduct a complete security risk assessment and document the entire process
  2. The company thereafter has to submit a basic application via the C-TPAT portal system
  3. The third step for the company is to complete a supply chain security profile which explains how the company meets C-TPAT's minimum security measures

After successful submission of the application the CBP reviews the submitted application. The C-TPAT program then will have 90 days to approve or reject the company's certification. Once certified, the company will be validated within three years of certification.

Choose Flatworld Solutions for the Best Logistics Services

Flatworld Solutions has been providing top quality logistics services to clients around the world for more than 20 years now. Our vast experience in bringing our services to the door of several renowned logistics providers has allowed us to have a better understanding of the various rules and regulations attached to the logistics industry. Our cost-effective services help you save considerable amount of time and money, while ensuring your goods always cross borders safely. We understand the importance of C-TPAT certifications and help our clients with trouble-free border crossings in various countries.

If you are looking for a reliable logistics service provider, then look no further. Write to us or talk to one of our representatives and we will be more than happy to help you out.

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