As a certified C-TPAT partner, PWS has taken the appropriate steps to ensure security within the supply chain. As an importer C-TPAT certification should be compulsory for any company that you choose to handle imports or customs clearance. Details information on the program is found below. Please contact a PWS representative to learn more about C-TPAT or for assistance with your importing needs.
What does C-TPAT stand for?
Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.
Why did US Customs and Border Protection initiate C-TPAT?
The 9/11 terrorists attacks on the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon constituted a pivotal event of history that changed the world and dramatically affected the world of trade and transportation. In response to the increased threat of Terrorism, the USA and other nations implemented new protective measures that have a significant impact on the processes of purchasing and moving goods throughout the supply chain of international commerce.  Terrorist activity is ideologically based, and it is primarily directed at causing economic damage and bringing attention to causes through significant loss of lives and property.  The global supply chain offers many significant target opportunities. Of particular threat is the possible use of our transportation systems to deliver a weapon of mass destruction. Cargo Containers could offer an opportunity to terrorists for their criminal purposes.
What is C-TPAT?
The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is a cooperative endeavor between the trade community and U.S. Customs Service to develop, enhance and maintain effective security processes throughout the global chain and effectively manage USA border security.  C-TPAT recognizes that Customs can provide the highest level of security only through close cooperation with the ultimate owners of the supply chain – importers, carriers, brokers, warehouse operations, air consolidators /OTIs/NVOCCs and manufacturers. Through this initiative, Customs is asking businesses to ensure the integrity of their security practices and communicate their security guidelines to their business partners within the supply chain.
What does it involve?
  • A comprehensive self-assessment of the company’s supply chain using the C-TPAT security guidelines jointly developed by Customs and the trade community. These guidelines encompass the following areas: Procedural Security, Physical Security, Personal Security, Education and Training, Access Controls, Manifest Procedures, and Conveyance Security.
  • Submitting a supply chain security profile questionnaire to Customers.
  • Developing and implementing a program to enhance security throughout the supply chain in accordance with C-TPAT guidelines.
  • Communicating C-TPAT guidelines to other companies in the supply chain and working towards building the guidelines into relationships with these companies.
What are the benefits of being C-TPAT certified?
In addition to the essential benefit of our supply chain being a safe place for employees, suppliers and customers, Customs will offer potential benefits to C-TPAT members, including:
  • A reduced number of inspections (reduced border time), depending on the number of C-TPAT certified parties involved in the shipment. i.e. The more C-TPAT Partners who participate in our supply chain, the lower the chances of cargo inspection.
  • An assigned US Customs account manager (if one is not already assigned)
  • Access to the C-TPAT membership list
  • Eligibility for account-based processes (bimonthly/monthly payments, e.g.)
  • An emphasis on self-policing, not Customs verifications
  • It is also highly possible that if the borders are closed due to a terrorist attack or threat, that US Customs will only allow C-TPAT certified members of the supply chain to resume importing and exporting when the borders reopen.
Who is eligible to apply for C-TPAT accreditation?
  • C-TPAT is currently open to all US importers, licensed brokers, carriers (air, rail, and sea), air consolidators, OTI/NVOCCs and U/S. Marine Port Authority/Terminal Operations.
  • It is also open to Mexican manufacturers and a select group of foreign manufacturers in Asia and Europe that will be invited to participate directly by CBP.
  • Customs plans to pen enrollment to a broader spectrum of the trade community in the near future. US Customs is working on a strategy that will include enrollment of additional segments of the foreign supply chain into C-TPAT . Once this is developed and approved, Customs will announce open enrollment on the CBP Web page.