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CTPAT is the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. CTPAT certification confers several benefits for parties along the supply chain, including fewer Customs exams and access to the CTPAT portal.


What is CTPAT?

CTPAT is the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. It's a security program of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, aimed at strengthening the security of international supply chains. Through CTPAT, CBP works with entities such as freight forwarders, importers, customs brokers, and manufacturers to implement certain security procedures and identify best practices.

Is Flexport CTPAT certified?

Yes. Flexport received CTPAT certification in April 2016. All CTPAT participants can search the CTPAT portal to check for certification.

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What are the benefits of CTPAT certification?

The primary benefits are:

  • Fewer Customs examinations, due to closer cooperation with CBP
  • Front-of-line privileges, whenever possible, in the event of an exam 
  • Access to the CTPAT portal, which allows monitoring of vendors and partners to ensure that they, too, are CTPAT certified
  • Assignment of a Supply Chain Security Specialist to the company
  • Facilitates working with vendors in other countries with whom the U.S. has a Mutual Recognition Arrangement -- essentially, other countries that have similar security programs in place (e.g., the European Union's Authorized Economic Operator, or AEO, program)
  • Access to the expedited Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lanes at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders.
  • Business resumption priority following a natural disaster or terrorist attack

In general, CTPAT certification demonstrates that a company has certain security procedures in place, maintains a secure supply chain, and vets overseas partners/vendors. For example, our Flexport LCL service works with CTPAT-compliant warehouses to ensure optimal service and security.

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Related Help Articles

Customs Exams: What to Expect

Types of Customs Holds and Exams: In Detail

Related Glossary Terms

Automated Manifest System (AMS) 

PGA (Partner Government Agency) 


CTPAT - U.S. Customs and Border Protection


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