The Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) program is U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) premier trade security program. The purpose of CTPAT is to partner with the trade community for the purpose of securing the U.S. and international supply chains from possible intrusion by terrorist organizations. CTPAT requires the trade company participant to document and validate their supply chain security procedures in relation to existing CBP CTPAT criteria or guidelines as applicable. CBP requires that CTPAT company participants develop an internal validation process to ensure the existence of security measures documented in their Supply Chain Security Profile and in any supplemental information provided to CBP. As a part of the CTPAT process, CBP CTPAT Supply Chain Security Specialists (SCSS) and the CTPAT participant will jointly conduct a validation of the company’s supply chain security procedures. The validation process is essential to verifying the company’s commitment to CTPAT.
The purpose of the validation is to ensure that the CTPAT participant’s international supply chain security measures contained in the CTPAT participant’s security profile have been implemented and are being followed in accordance with established CTPAT criteria or guidelines. The validation team evaluates the status and effectiveness of key security measures in the participant’s profile to make recommendations and recognize best practices where appropriate.
The guiding principle of the CTPAT program is enhancing and ensuring supply chain security though a government-industry partnership. The CTPAT program is voluntary and designed to share information that will protect the supply chain from being compromised by terrorists and terrorist organizations. The validation process will enable CBP and the CTPAT participant to jointly review the participant’s CTPAT security profile to ensure that security actions in the profile are being effectively executed. Throughout the process there will also be the opportunity to discuss security issues and to share “best practices” with the ultimate goal of securing the international supply chain.
CTPAT validations are not audits. In addition, they will be focused, concise, and will last not longer than ten working days.
Based on the participant’s CTPAT security profile and the recommendations of the validation team, Headquarters will also oversee the specific security elements to be validated.