Cold Chain Logistics, Life Science Shipping, Medical Device, Shipping & Logistics - General

CTPAT Certification Program Overview

February 22, 2024
CTPAT Certification Process

Improving Global Supply Chain Security with CTPAT Certification

Written By: Narek Hakobyan

Securing supply chains against disruptions and possible threats is imperative. The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT), initiated by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the wake of the September 11 attacks, is a public-private sector partnership between the U.S. government and participants in the supply chain. 

CTPAT Certification Process Overview

CTPAT is a voluntary collaborative initiative in which businesses alongside CBP commit to safeguarding their supply chains, address security vulnerabilities on a continuous basis, and implement measures and best practices to address it. The program's scope is broad and incorporates manufacturers, importers, exporters, manufacturers, carriers, and logistics providers.  

Who Can Apply?

The following types of companies can apply for CTPAT certification: importers, manufacturers, customs brokers, forwarders, and carriers (air, sea, and land), as well as contract logistics providers. Check CBP’s Minimum Security Criteria for more details if your business is eligible. 

How Companies Can Benefit

Companies can strengthen their supply chains to protect against potential threats during transportation of their goods. You can benefit from expedited processing at borders, leading to simplified customs clearance processes. It can translate to fewer CBP inspections, saving not only time but also reducing the associated costs linked to unexpected shipment delays. A CTPAT certification signals to your customers and partners that you take security seriously which may give you an advantage in the global market.  

How to Get CTPAT Certification

Enrollment in the C-TPAT program is free of charge. The process to achieve CTPAT certification includes the following: 

  1. Review the CTPAT Minimum Security Criteria ( to see if your company is eligible to participate to participated.  
  2. Your business evaluates your own supply chain security practices against CTPAT's guidelines. 
  3. Complete the application via the CBP’s online system ( 
  4. CBP officials will review your application and conduct on-site validations to verify compliance with CTPAT standards. Per’ BBP’s website, it may take up to 90 days to either certify the company or to deny the application. 
  5. If approved, the CTPAT certification is granted by CBP.  

Evaluation of Security Procedures  

Firms engaging in CTPAT adhere to stringent evaluation procedures and pledge to enforce particular security protocols, including: 

  • Evaluation of the security measures of your company’s suppliers and partners. 
  • Background investigations and training of employees. 
  • Safeguarding critical data and communication networks. 
  • Ensuring the security of premises, containers, and shipments.

Your Company’s Commitment to Ongoing Security Efforts

Becoming CTPAT certified is not a one-time effort. You are expected to regularly review and refine your security practices in response to changing program requirements or threats. 

For more details, please visit CBD’s website


Mercury will help your company obtain CTPAT certification. By performing detailed assessments of your facilities, we aim to guarantee compliance with the rigorous CTPAT Security Criteria. 

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