Top 5 Reasons to Apply for C-TPAT Certification

As the incidence of terrorist acts has increased around the globe, more manufacturers are recognizing the importance of supply chain security and thus applying for the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program. Founded in 2001, participation in the C-TPAT program continues to climb. Today, more than 11,400 certified partners have been accepted into the program.

Led by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), C-TPAT works with the trade community to strengthen international supply chains and improve U.S. border security. The partners include U.S. importers and exporters, manufacturers, customs brokers, carriers and others – all of whom account for more than 52 percent (by value) of cargo imported into the U.S., according to CBP.

Although QCA does not require applicants to achieve C-TPAT certification to become accredited, we do advocate C-TPAT certification as a best practice. QCA accreditation applicants that have a Tier 1 or higher C-TPAT certification may be able to use that documentation for QCA supply chain security testing. Further, this certification offers many benefits that will help you grow your business. Here are the top five reasons to apply for C-TPAT certification.

1 - New Business Opportunities

A C-TPAT certification opens doors to new opportunities for business growth. Once certified, you will be able to compete for contracts that require C-TPAT membership – thus expanding your potential customer base. You will also be eligible for other U.S. government pilot programs.

2 - Fewer Customs Inspections

When a C-TPAT certified company imports goods, the cargo is considered preferred, and points are deducted from the risk value. This translates into reduced inspection and customs fees. And even if your shipment is selected for inspection, the process will take less time, resulting in increased speed to market.

3 - Front of the Line Privileges

As a C-TPAT supplier, you receive front-of-the-line inspections, which results in a reduction in the time and cost of getting cargo released by U.S. Customs. Also, any containers or trailers will be moved ahead of non-certified ones, further reducing wait times.

4 - Shorter Wait Times at the Border

C-TPAT members gain expedited clearance across the land borders between the U.S. and Canada, and between the U.S. and Mexico via dedicated Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lanes. This results in a decreased wait time at land border ports of entry and increased predictability in moving goods.

5 - Priority Access in Emergencies

In the event of a national emergency or terrorist act that results in the closing of an airport, land or sea port of entry, C-TPAT certified shipments have priority access into the U.S. once the port of entry reopens. This helps minimize the probability of a disruption to your supply chain during emergencies.

Are you beginning to see the value of C-TPAT certification? Ensuring supply chain security is only one of the benefits of becoming QCA-accredited. To get started on the accreditation process right away, contact QCA today.   


QCA is the promotional product industry’s only independent, non-profit organization dedicated to verifying the processes that help industry companies provide safe and compliant products. To learn more about how you can affiliate with QCA visit

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