Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) | Trade Compliance

CTPAT – Supply Chain Strong

Let’s talk CTPAT Supply Chain Security.  It is the ever-evolving original security program that was inaugurated by Customs & Border Protection in 2001 under the newly established Department of Homeland Security. Today it is a multi-layer cargo strategy that works with the trade community to support and strengthen international supply chains.  Participants must apply the Minimum Security Criteria (MSC) which addresses a broad range of security practices across the range of industry partners that qualify for the program.

The CTPAT Supply Chain Security Program  involves strategic business partnerships with manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and global compliance professionals. CTPAT is rooted in strong, clear relationships from the acquisition of raw materials to understanding the regulatory requirements.  It is focused on ensuring security of the people involved and cargo movement throughout the entire supply chain.    Whether you are entertaining enrollment in the CTPAT program for the first time, or it’s the time of year to update your annual assessment, it will involve energy and focus to make it happen.   Don’t let tight deadlines and CTPAT complexity derail your success. Partner with a knowledgeable third party for a smooth and efficient process.

As international trade consultants we are in the arena daily and can help you achieve compliance with the CTPAT program, get you certified, walk with you through the validation process and even offer guidance or share responsibilities for managing the ongoing program. w

Don’t settle for less: Top tips for choosing the perfect fit in a CTPAT consultant.

  • Engage with a subject matter expert
  • Look for someone with good communication skills. Someone able to listen, understand, and interpret your existing processes is key to building out the CTPAT Security Profile and developing supporting documents
  • Look for a hands-on – in it for the long-haul consultant. One that is part of a larger team
  • Resources are invaluable in developing documents tailored to your organization.
  • Find a willing teacher. An engaged consultant should be willing to pass along knowledge to help you better understand the program, how it works, and how to best train your people.

Choosing a collaborating consulting partner can help expedite the CTPAT application process or accelerate your annual review, saving valuable time.  If you find yourself in need of an assist in this area, Braumiller Consulting has the right solution and the right consultants for you.

Our Approach to CTPAT Program Development

We are the hands-on kind of consultants that will be there with you all the way to the goal.  Working side-by-side to design and develop a program that works for your business model. Program development starts with a current assessment of your facility and processes. A Gap Analysis is used to identify areas that may need improvement, and a plan is outlined to achieve the identified goals.  We will walk you through the process and provide needed assistance with:

  • Written Policy & Procedures
  • Documented Forms and Logs
  • Required Training Elements for Employees, Authorized Representatives and Business Partners
  • Business Partner Outreach
  • Forced Labor Assessments
  • Sourcing for security needs
  • Updating, documenting, and implementing Processes
  • The Validation Audit

Businesses must adapt to changing markets, regulations, and training requirements necessary for global for trade. Implementing a complete CTPAT security program increases the entire supply chain confidence.

Program Certification

Navigating the CTPAT on-line portal, information and the application submission is the basis for your Certification review and can be tedious.  For each criterion you must provide separate narrative descriptions and supporting documentation to validate implementation.   Assistance in preparing your application that will emphasize the right technology, the best organizational and supplier data, and detailed risk analysis descriptions can provide the edge that will allow your  application to move quickly through the approval process. 

There are two primary sections to the application. The Company Profile and the Security Profile. The first area requires detailed information about the company organization, structure, business type and registration numbers such as an Importer bond number or IATA indicator. It is only after completing and submitting the Company Profile that you will receive login information and instructions for completing the Security Profile.

Internal Self-Assessment

A comprehensive internal assessment that addresses all the aspects of the CTPAT program is the first step in determining the build-out of the program for your organization. It will define stakeholders, identify risk, and provide an overall readiness evaluation.  

Internal stakeholders may sometimes seem hidden but will be the big influencers.  Areas like sales stakeholders are the key to getting the word out to business partners that you are CTPAT certified, which can potentially leverage more business.  International partners often are compelled by their own security programs to do business with CTPAT participants. 

Risk assessment involves understanding the operations of your company and your business partners.  This includes identifying the completed supply chain from suppliers to manufacturing to cargo transport and documentation movement, through to international carriers, domestic terminals, and warehouses etc.   A deep-dive is the necessary component to understanding the security, operations, and technology utilized in your supply chain. 

Invest in expertise, unlock results.  Knowledge of the program, industry, processes, risks, and requirements of the CTPAT program will yield valuable results.  

Validation or Revalidation

Don’t let the final hurdle trip you up! Double checking the preparations for your CBP validation and verifying standards and operation will make that visit with Customs a breeze. Braumiller Consulting can take you through a simulated, in-person or virtual validation audit to prepare you for the checklist that Customs will use to confirm the required criteria and issue the CTPAT validation.

In almost every supply chain environment, businesses want to know how they are doing. And they want to know what they need to do to improve. To maintain the most effective business partner operations, it is necessary that you have definite ideas and practices for all the pieces of the chain. 

To secure a strong supply chain, security roles and responsibilities need to be evaluated periodically. CTPAT puts you in the driver’s seat to initiate strong partnerships by developing a shared set of achievable security benchmarks.