Benefits of the CBP C-TPAT Program

C-TPAT (Customs–Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) is a voluntary, joint government-business partnership to strengthen supply chain and increase border security. C-TPAT is described by the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) as being just one layer of CBP’s multi-layer strategy on cargo enforcement. Supply Chain security is a complex topic that can have a very important effect of a company’s bottom line. Read on to learn more about this attractive program.


Benefits of C-TPAT

There are many potential benefits, here are some of the highlights:

  • Reduced number of CBP inspections, as well as moving to the front of the line when inspections are required.
  • Shorter wait times at land borders, including access to FAST lanes
  • Eligibility for other U.S. Government pilot programs including the FDA’s Secure Supply Chain program
  • Additional benefits possible by being designated as a trusted trade partner by foreign customs administrations with signed Mutual Recognition with the US
  •  The potential to participate in the Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA)
  • A lesser potential of CBP examinations and an exemption from Stratified Exams (SEs)

Requirements of C-TPAT

There are a number of requirements to obtain and maintain membership in the C-TPAT, depending upon the type of partner. Here are some of the most important:

  • Be an active Customs Brokers, Exporter, Foreign Manufacturer, Highway Carrier, Importer, Long Haul Carrier in Mexico, Marine Port Authority or Terminal Operator, Rail Carrier, Sea Carrier, Third Party Logistics Providers (3PL), Air Carrier or Freight Consolidator
  • Maintain a business office in the US
  • Create & provide CBP with a C-TPAT supply chain security profile
  • Conduct and document for CBP a 5 point risk assessment review of partner’s international supply chain
  • Be an active participant in their industry
  • Maintain C-TPAT supply chain security guidelines as outlined in the CTPAT consolidator agreement.
OpticalLock products form a symbiotic relationship with the goals and measures of C-TPAT. The OpticalLock system consists of a hardware locking device which provides all the benefits of a typical physical lock, but includes the functionality of an electronic security seal as well as a GPS tracking device all in one versatile padlock form factor.


The OpticalLock system features a highly secure, cloud-based management database back-end which stores all historical lock data and is guarded by sophisticated encryption technology. It has real-time features including fiber-optic tamper-evidence technology which is a high tech replacement for a common security seal, instantaneous wireless alerting and quiet alarms for any tampering incidents associated with the lock. The  system also has an Android mobile App for local secure locking & unlocking of the hardware, as well as the ability to receive mobile alerts of tampering attempts and other asynchronous events while your cargo is anywhere in the world.


The C-TPAT program has published a best practices security manual, a number of the points are directly applicable to the usage of OpticalLock products:


A. The Company conducts a physical seal inventory audit on a weekly basis to ensure that all seal logs are reconciled. (With OpticalLock, you will have an electronic audit trail of any and all tampering attempts)
B. high security seal must be affixed to all loaded containers bound for the U.S. All seals must meet or exceed the current PAS ISO 17712 standards for high security seals. The current ISO 17712 standard requires independent confirmation in three areas:
  1. Testing to determine a seal’s physical strength (as barriers to entry). ISO 17712 defines three types of classes of seal strength or barrier capacity: “I” for Indicative; “S” for Security; and “H” for High Security.
  2. Auditing of manufacturer’s security related business processes. Poor security related practices can undercut the effectiveness of a high quality security seal.
  3. Seals be designed and constructed with tamper indicative features that generate telltale evidence of tampering.

OpticalLock believes that its products easily meet the above requirements of points 1) & 3) and 2) is not product specific

C. If a trailer’s doors are opened and cargo is manipulated in any way, an alarm notification is sent to the Highway Carrier’s dispatchers and driver. (OpticalLock enables quiet alarms with wireless alerts in the event that a trailer door equipped with an our locking device is tampered with in any way)

Please Contact us to to explore how OpticalLock products including can work alongside C-TPAT measures to significantly strengthen your cargo security strategy today!

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