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Why C-TPAT Certification Matters

Delays as your goods move through customs don't just mean extra stress. They can lead to missed deadlines, unhappy customers—and fees that turn profitable cargo into a net loss. 

C-TPAT certification can make a huge difference. Short for the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, C-TPAT was founded in November 2001 to increase border security while facilitating the flow of legitimate goods into the United States. 

Certification requires months, even years, and involves special training to help U.S. Customs & Border Control (CBP) protect the supply chain, identify security gaps, and implement specific security measures and best practices. 

However, you can enjoy all the benefits of C-TPAT by hiring a certified broker. They save you time by significantly reducing the chance your goods will be inspected. Even if they are inspected, your goods receive priority treatment.

Specific privileges include: 

  • Reduced number of CBP examinations

  • Front-of-the-line inspections

  • Possible exemption from Stratified Exams

  • Shorter wait times at the border

  • Access to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Lanes at the land borders

  • Business resumption priority following a natural disaster or terrorist attack

About C-TPAT

Founded in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, C-TPAT is an initiative of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and is supported by The Department of Homeland Security.

Members include not just brokers but also manufacturers, importers and carriers. Membership comes with considerable responsibilities. You must be able to demonstrate security across the supply chain, from the point of origin to the point of distribution. That includes making sure that your trading and supply chain partners also follow those best practices.

Learn more about CBP's C-TPAT program.


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