U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) is a voluntary trade program designed to advance global trade through cooperation between govt. and industry stakeholders. As a compliance-based security excellence program, CTPAT members maintain their standing by establishing security measures that secure and enhance the integrity of their operations. With over 11,000 members, CTPAT aims to expedite certain border processes while ensuring border security. In 2020, the program has updated its eligibility requirements for the first time since its launch in 2003. Members and new applicants are now required to update company procedures to remain in compliance.
A key focus of the new requirements is the involvement of member company management in corporate-wide awareness of security protocols. Moreover, documentation of these steps and how they are maintained is required. Additionally, risk assessments should be performed on a regular basis to help companies quickly identify areas of improvement. In the case of a security disruption, members should perform an incident analysis to determine where the supply chain could have been compromised.
The new criteria also detail physical and personnel security measures. Cameras and other security technology should be inspected on a regular basis. Members are expected to continue ensuring the integrity of inbound and outbound cargo equipment, along with the newly added requirement of inspecting for agricultural and pest contaminants. An additional best practice is having an employee code of conduct that outlines expectations and accepted behavior related to security that must be understood, signed by employees, and kept for documentation.
As these new requirements go into effect, CTPAT applicants and existing members are diligently preparing operations to comply to the new standards. Compliance to these standards requires a collaborative effort of the entire workforce. Some businesses may find it challenging to implement employee training and security preparation across all divisions of an operation. Implementing companywide CTPAT training is an efficient way for businesses to educate employees on how to maintain compliance with new criteria. CT Strategies further streamlines this process by offering a virtual CTPAT training course instructed by industry experts who helped develop the programs new criteria. Learn more about the training course here.