CTPAT Virtual Validations Checklist

CTPAT Virtual Validations are Here to Stay

 CBP has notified the trade community of its intention to continue the practice of virtual validations for low-risk importers. This practice does not apply to importers undergoing their initial validations.

The validation process is extensive, and can last anywhere from 3 to 8 hours. When necessary, the validation will be divided into multiple sections. CBP’s goal is to leverage technology to further standardize virtual validations by using data to reduce validation backlogs and develop efficient feedback systems.

Here is the run-down of updated lessons & best practices for virtual validations, some of which were discussed at the 2022 Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit



  • Ensure that necessary personnel are in the validation and speaking for their departments 
  • Update the Security Profile in advance of validation  
  • Organize procedures in folders based on different MSC sections (PowerPoint presentations with hyperlinks to procedures, policies, etc.) 
  • Upload the most recent procedures to the Security Profile prior to the validation
  • Take pictures of critical areas within company facilities  
  • Arrange pre-meetings with necessary personnel in the company to ensure everyone is prepared for the validation
  • Demonstrate senior management support during the validation is critical  


  • Share information with the SCSS prior to the validation  
  • Prepare and organize the procedures prior to the validation  
  • Send the procedures to the SCSS to review before the validation  
  • Confirm expectations with the SCSS   
  • Ask your SCSS for a Validation Agenda and preparation materials 


  • Ensure that there is a stable and reliable network connection  
  • Test your technology in advance of the validation 
  • Provide livestream, videos, photos, drone video, or 360° video during the validation as evidence of implementation 


  • Collaboration with WCO and AEO Partners to increase cross program integration between similar trusted trader programs 
  • Increased focus on digital security and companywide awareness of CTPAT protocols through training 
  • Optimization of virtual validation by further standardizing operating procedures
  • Implementation of new technology to collect feedback and reduce backlog 

About Us

The CT Strategies team of former CBP CTPAT Supply Chain Security Specialists (SCSS) and Directors help companies successfully navigate CBP’s CTPAT program. Using insights from over 80 years of combined CBP operational and policy knowledge, we leverage our first-hand CTPAT supply chain security experience and connections to current CBP leadership, so you can save time and money and get the most out of your CTPAT membership.

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