Customs-trade Partnership Against Terrorism (c-tpat) Physical Safety Measures

Many manufacturers doing business today rely on product from outside the borders of the United States. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Customs Border Patrol (CBP) has instituted the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) on a voluntary basis to secure the international supply chain to the United States. C-TPAT is simply one of the government's initiatives to facilitate trade moving into the United States and keep the product secure. The hold up of cargo can be not only be expensive, but painfully slow and tedious.

As a result of this initiative, the CBP initiated a series of goals to secure the process. These goals, if met, earn the individual company within the international trade community the right to apply for certification that the company complies with the goals.

Businesses that may apply for C-TPAT must be related to the U.S. import supply chain cargo managing and transportation. These include:

* U.S. Importers of record

* U.S./Canada Highway Haulers

* U.S./Mexico Highway Haulers

* Rail Transporters

* Sea Transporters

* Air Transporters

* U.S. Marine Port Authority/Terminal Operators

* U.S. Air Freight Consolidators, Ocean Transportation Intermediaries and Non-Vessel Operating Common Transporters (NVOCC)

* Mexican and Canadian Production Companies

* Certain Invited Foreign Production Companies

* Licensed U.S. Customs Agents

* Third Party Logistics Suppliers (3PL)

* Long Haul Highway Transporters in Mexico

One portion of the C-TPAT initiative involves the physical security of the product during the movement through the supply chain. The C-TPAT requires that the cargo handling areas and the storage facilities must have protective barriers and deterrents in place that guard against unauthorized access.

Your local material handling C-TPAT expert or business storage solutions company can assist you with fulfilling the following requirements:


Perimeter fencing is needed to enclose the areas around the handling and storage facilities. Also, in many cases, interior fencing is needed within a building to segregate domestic, international, high value and hazardous cargo.

Standard, welded wire fencing and woven-wire fencing with secured, locked, doors serves as an effective protective barrier under most circumstances. This fencing must be inspected on a regular basis for any damage and integrity.

Gates and Guard Shacks

The holding area for trucks and other transporter vehicles should be controlled through guard shacks and security gates which allow an individual to monitor and check in or out all products according to C-TPAT guidelines.

Locking Devices