Is Your Company on The List: Getting into the C-TPAT Club

October 28, 2010, 07:32 PM

Picture an exclusive event where everyone is trying to get in the door. The line is around the building and you have been standing in line for hours and yet you keep seeing some people go straight up to the front of the line, flash their C-TPAT membership card and immediately get in the door. This is happening everyday in the international trade world, and if you want your company to have a fast pass to the front of the line, your company is going to need a C-TPAT membership card. C-TPAT is short for Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and is a program promoted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to enroll cooperative low-risk companies who are responsible for importing, transporting, and coordinating commercial import cargo. C-TPAT is a voluntary program and your company may be approved for membership only if it meets certain security criteria. Also, once a member, a companys membership can be suspended or removed if it does not remain in compliance with C-TPAT standards. However, as a C-TPAT member, your business will be rewarded with numerous benefits, including front of the line processing for inspections before any non-C-TPAT shipments, regardless of how long they have been waiting, and fewer inspections overall. Click here to access the C-TPAT online electronic application. –R. Ellen Coley