CTPAT membership is an ongoing process which requires it to be fully integrated into company policies, procedures, and culture to be most effective. Your membership should be seen as a complementary layer that fits organically within your corporate structure. Following these 5 key principles can help you succeed in your CTPAT journey.
1. UPPER MANAGEMENT INVOLVEMENT
The importance of CTPAT membership must be driven from the top-down as a corporate priority that links executive leadership and managers from various parts of the organization to create a culture of security awareness.
2. TEAM EFFORT
CTPAT compliance should be a team effort with input from multiple department representatives, not just one individual’s sole responsibility. While the main point of contact is responsible for interacting with CBP, the regular engagement of the broader team of key department and process experts is essential in maintaining supply chain security and program compliance.
3. EVIDENCE OF IMPLEMENTATION
When completing the CTPAT Security Profile, companies should provide robust Evidence of Implementation (EOI) for CTPAT compliance to their Supply Chain Security Specialist (SCSS). This can include documentation, including company manuals and operating procedures, as well as photos and video evidence of key security procedures and infrastructure.
4.REGULAR INTERNAL AUDITS
At a minimum, companies should review and update their procedures annually, as appropriate, to mitigate risk, not just every few years during official CTPAT validations. All relevant personnel should remain vigilant in identifying potential issues. Simple tests (such as having a lesser-known employee wander into different sections of the facility without displaying company identification) on a regular basis can quickly identify gaps in security procedures which can and should be rectified immediately and well in advance of a CTPAT validation.
5. EMBRACE PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP
CBP and the trade community have a shared interest in securing the global supply chain. Companies should always feel empowered to contact their assigned SCSS or access the CTPAT Portal for security resources and program benefit information.
CTPAT POCs/Account managers can avoid significant challenges with CTPAT membership by following these 5 principles which are the foundation for sustainable and positive standing in the program. If you manage your team’s CTPAT account, and need assistance with administering your company’s membership, learn more about CTPAT Navigator here.