Minimum Security Criteria For U.S. Customs Broker

Minimum Security Criteria For U.S. Customs Broker

CTPAT recognizes the complexity of international supply chains, and the diverse business models Members employ. For CTPAT purposes, a business model refers to key characteristics about the business that are considered when determining if the company meets the criteria, such as the role of the company in the supply chain, size of the business, type of legal entity, number of supply chains, and number of business partners.

CTPAT encourages the implementation of security measures based upon risk analysis, and the Program allows for flexibility and the customization of security plans based on the Member’s business model and the level of risk as ascertained from the Member’s own risk assessment.

Recognizing that U.S. Customs Brokers generally do not play a significant role in the physical aspects of stuffing, loading, transporting and distributing cargo, the Broker does play a decisive role in the transmission of key trade data, and in doing so in a timely manner. For a CTPAT Importer, for example, to realize a reduced cargo examination rate, entry must be made to CBP as early in the importation process as possible –and prior to the arrival of the cargo.

CTPAT understands that for those Brokers that do not physically handle cargo, some of the requirements listed here do not apply. Brokers simply need to let CTPAT know when a specific criterion is not applicable.

Brokers also play an important role as a liaison between CBP and other key entities in the supply chain. In this capacity, one of the key roles for a CTPAT U.S. Customs Broker is to educate and encourage that Members within their supply chains further the security tenets of CTPAT.

Regardless of how much leverage a Member has in regard to influencing business partners’ practices, CTPAT expects its Members to exercise due diligence in pursuit of obtaining business partners’ compliance with the Program’s criteria.

Because flexibility is a cornerstone of the Program, many of the criteria do not contain specific time frames. Vague language such as “periodic” or “regular basis” is used to allow Members to customize their security programs to fit their circumstances.

For those criteria that require written procedures, it is understood that these procedures are being followed or have been implemented by the CTPAT Member – as applicable.

CTPAT defines the supply chain as beginning at the point of origin – where cargo destined for export has been made, assembled, grown and/or packed for export – and ending at point of distribution.

CTPAT Supply Chain Map



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