C-TPAT Overview

"If you are not a member of C-TPAT in times of crisis, good luck."

Former CBP Commissioner Robert C. Bonner
Department of Homeland Security, April 20, 2005

 The US Government has formed a partnership with the trade community to assist in the war against terrorism. C-TPAT, the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, is the initiative under which any company involved in imports assesses the security vulnerabilities within their supply chains and completes specified documentation for Customs. Customs reviews the documentation and typically engages in clarification meetings and a validation process to ensure that the documented information is accurate. Upon final approval, a company is certified as C-TPAT compliant and gets "fast lane" treatment for goods moving through the border. These benefits include expedited processing of customs entries, a reduced number of inspections, an assigned Customs account manager and the opportunity to self-police.

While C-TPAT is considered a voluntary program, the mounting commercial pressure and concerns over cargo delays are ensuring that companies involved in international trade are participating.  Importers, brokers, air carriers, air freight forwarders, ocean transport intermediaries, NVOCC's and Port and Terminal Operators are all participants in the C-TPAT process.

Tectus C-TPAT Methodology

Tectus has successfully helped importers and transportation service providers go through the C-TPAT Certification and Validation processes for several years now.  Much of our success is due to our methodology, which includes:

Detailed Sizing and Project Planning

We will work with key stakeholders in your organization to appropriately size the project. We will also create a detailed work plan that ensures all government requirements are met on time and per the agreed upon project budget. All deliverables and timelines are defined in advance to ensure you receive quality results.

Information Gathering and Analysis

After mapping a company’s supply chain, there is a focus on information gathering and analysis.   We have automated in our ACEIS system proven web enabled tools such as Entity Security Surveys, On Site Audit Templates, and Vulnerability Remediation Plans to gather, track and summarize detailed information used in the C-TPAT process.   Analysis of this information is easy in ACEIS, as there is visibility on the progress eliminating vulnerabilities at both an entity level and an enterprise level.

Procedural Manual Audits

We review all of your procedural manuals and process documents to ensure compliance with C-TPAT security standards.  In addition, we can train your staff on new procedures and processes as well as author your C-TPAT Manuals.

Completion of Customs Documentation

Every application that Tectus has written for clients has resulted in C-TPAT certification. Most companies designate Tectus as an authorized participant so that we can directly fill out the Security Profile, respond to Custom’s clarification questions, and upload the appropriate supporting documentation into the Customs Web Portal. 

Risk Assessment

Tectus has developed a thorough, formal Supply Chain Risk Assessment process that identifies and prioritizes the parts of your supply chain that are most vulnerable (down to the entity level).  Our Risk Assessment also recommends actions to resolve these vulnerabilities.

Validation Support

After Certification, Customs goes through a process to validate the security of your supply chain.  This includes a more detailed review of the Security Profile, on site visits to headquarter offices, manufacturing facilities and transportation/logistics locations, and further scrutiny of remediation measures.  We can prepare your organization for all the meetings with Customs and facilitate or lead these discussions.

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