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C‐TPAT seeks to safeguard the world's vibrant trade industry from terrorists, maintaining the economic health of the U.S. and its neighbors. The partnership develops and adopts measures that add security but do not have a chilling effect on trade, a difficult balancing act.
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Foreign Manufacturer Eligibility Requirements  

To be eligible for C-TPAT, the Foreign Manufacturer must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be an active Manufacturer incorporated in Mexico or Canada. (Copies of the company’s certificate of incorporation must be made available upon request by C-TPAT personnel).
  • Have an active U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Manufacturer Identification (MID) Number.
  • Have a designated company officer that will be the primary cargo security officer responsible for C-TPAT.
  • Commit to maintaining the C-TPAT supply chain security criteria as outlined in the C-TPAT Manufacturer agreement.

Provide CBP with a C-TPAT supply chain security profile, which identifies how the Foreign Manufacturer will meet, maintain and enhance internal policy to meet the C-TPAT Foreign Manufacturer security criteria.

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C-TPAT 101 

An introduction to C-TPAT provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency. 

click here to see the entire presentation


U.S. and China Begin Pilot C-TPAT Validation Program 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced March 24 that it recently began a pilot C-TPAT validation program in China in cooperation with China’s General Administration of Customs. A CBP press release states that the program is being conducted with the voluntary participation of three U.S. importers whose supply chains predominately originate in China. According to CBP, China Customs is heading the validation initiative using the C-TPAT minimum security criteria as a guide and has completed the first validation with technical assistance from CBP supply chain security specialists.

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Mutual Recognition

An overview of C-TPATs' international strategy as it pertains to mutual recognition. This information was presented at the 2013 C-TPAT conference by Steve Krupinksky, Ron May, and Ralph Quichocho.  

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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Minimum Security Criteria for Importers

Q: Why is CBP updating the security guidelines for C-TPAT importers? Will other 
enrollment sectors also be subject to new minimum-security criteria? 
A: For C-TPAT to ensure its continued viability, effectiveness, and relevance, the program must 
continue to evolve – as the terrorist threat and the nature of global trade evolves. The impetus for 
strengthening the existing security guidelines is to provide more detail to the membership on the 
expectations of the program, and to assist CBP in defining a more consistent baseline for 
minimal program requirements and better-defined C-TPAT benefits. Throughout 2005, CBP will 
work with the trade community to develop minimum-security criteria for all enrollment sectors. 
Q: What basis did CBP use in developing the new security criteria? 
A: The new security criteria are based on the processes, procedures and best practices collected 
from the thousands of security profiles that CBP has reviewed and approved, and the more than 
470 validations that have been completed and documented to date. The new criteria were 
developed in partnership with the trade community over a 6-month period. 
Q: Does CBP intend to revise the security guidelines for all sectors of C-TPAT  
membership? If so, has CBP determined the timeframe for completion of the refined 
security criteria for each sector? 
A: Yes. CBP will move forward with revising the current security guidelines for each sector of 
membership. After the new C-TPAT security criteria for importers has been announced, CBP 
will begin revising the sea carriers, air carriers and foreign manufacturers sectors concurrently. 

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Security Criteria for C-TPAT Importers

Importers must conduct a comprehensive assessment of their international supply chains based 

upon the following C-TPAT security criteria. Where an importer outsources or contracts 
elements of their supply chain, such as a foreign facility, conveyance, domestic warehouse, or 
other elements, the importer must work with these business partners to ensure that pertinent 
security measures are in place and adhered to throughout their supply chain. The supply chain for 
C-TPAT purposes is defined from point of origin (manufacturer/supplier/vendor) through to 
point of distribution – and recognizes the diverse business models C-TPAT members employ. 
C-TPAT recognizes the complexity of international supply chains and endorses the application 
and implementation of security measures based upon risk analysis. Therefore, the program 
allows for flexibility and the customization of security plans based on the member’s business 
Appropriate security measures, as listed throughout this document, must be implemented and 
maintained throughout the importer’s supply chains - based on risk. 
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Mutual Recognition (MR) refers to those activities associated with the signing of a document 
between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and a foreign Customs Administration that provides for 
the exchange of information. The document, referred to as an “arrangement”, indicates that the security 
requirements or standards of the foreign industry partnership program, as well as its validation or audit 
procedures, are the same or similar with those of the C-TPAT program.
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US Customs and Border Protection

Click here to visit the Official US Customs Website to find out more information on C-TPAT. 


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