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Allports is proud to partner with U.S. Customs & Border Protection in the joint national security initiative C-TPAT!



What is C-TPAT?


C-TPAT (Customs – Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) is a voluntary government – business initiative established to help build cooperative relationships intended to strengthen and improve international supply chain and U.S. border security.  Through the initiative, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) is asking businesses to ensure the integrity of their security practices and communicate and verify the security guidelines of their supply chain business partners.


What are the benefits of C-TPAT?


Participation in C-TPAT will offer overall security benefits throughout the supply chain as well as CBP protection benefits:


  • Reduced number of CBP inspections and reduced border delay times

  • Priority processing of CBP inspections

  • Assignment of C-TPAT Supply Chain Specialist

  • Eligibility for CBP Importer Self-Assessment program

  • Eligibility to attend C-TPAT supply chain security training seminars


As your business partner, we are pleased to provide you with information regarding the C-TPAT program for importers.  We recommend that you review the minimum security criteria for importers, as well as the C-TPAT Best Practices.   ​​

Specific security concerns for all importers and their business partners:


Whether or not you are a C-TPAT member, it is critical that importers have security procedures in place at the point of stuffing, procedures to inspect, properly seal and maintain the integrity of the shipping containers and trailers. CBP urges all importers to ensure that their suppliers, transportation carriers and 3PL logistics and consolidator providers understand these C-TPAT procedures.


Container Inspection


Procedures must be in place to verify the physical integrity of the container structure prior to stuffing, to include the reliability of the locking mechanisms of the doors.  A seven-point inspection process is recommended for all containers prior to stuffing:


  • Front wall

  • Left side

  • Right side

  • Floor

  • Ceiling/Roof

  • Inside/Outside doors

  • Outside/Undercarriage

Container Seals


The sealing of trailers, to include continuous seal integrity, is crucial elements of a secure supply chain.  A high security seal must be affixed to all loaded trailers bound for the U.S.  All seals must meet or exceed the current PAS ISO 17712 standards for high security seals.


Written procedures must stipulate how seals are to be controlled and affixed to loaded containers. Procedures must be in place for recognizing and reporting compromised seals and/or containers to U.S. Customs and Border Protection or the appropriate foreign authority.  Only designated employees should distribute container seals for integrity purposes.

Conveyance Inspection Procedures


To counter internal conspiracies, supervisory personnel or a security manager, held accountable to senior management for security, should search the conveyance after the driver has conducted a search.  These searches should be random, documented, based on risk, and should be conducted at the truck yard and after the truck has been loaded and en route to the U.S. border.


  1. Tractors:

    1. Bumper/tires/rims

    2. Doors/tool compartments

    3. Battery box

    4. Air breather

    5. Fuel tanks

    6. Interior cab compartments/sleeper

    7. Faring/roof

  2. Trailers:
    1. Outside/Undercarriage
    2. Inside/outside doors
    3. Ceiling/Roof
    4. Floor
    5. Right side
    6. Left side
    7. Front wall
    8. Rear - bumper/doors
    9. Exterior - front/sides
    10. Fifth wheel area - check natural compartment/skid plate

If you should have any questions about the C-TPAT program or security-related concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

C-TPAT Best Practices

C-TPAT Glossery of Terms

C-TPAT Glossary of Terms

C-TPAT Program Information (CBP Website)

C-TPAT Program Information (CBP Website)


To report suspicious activity: Call 800 BE ALERT or (800) 232-5378.

C-TPAT Resources
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