The CTPAT Trade Compliance Program incentivizes importer investment in the resources necessary to self-police their own global trade compliance.

Sounds simple enough. However, the regulatory frameworks for oversight of international supply chains are complex, rigorous, and ever-evolving. Even one-off, inadvertent errors can cost tens of thousands of dollars in delays and inventory losses.

Partnering in the new CTPAT Trade Compliance Program may help minimize such risks, given that it prioritizes supply chain management that’s not only above-board, but transparent, efficient, and secure.

US Customs and Border Protection form to fill out

As noted by U.S. Customs & Border Patrol, benefits include:

  • Fewer audits and inspections.
  • Reduced border delays.
  • Fast-tracked ruling requests.
  • Removal from Forced Assessment pool.
  • Extended prior notice and grace periods when compliance issues do crop up.

Importers of all industries and sizes conclude that CTPAT Compliance Program partnership is a smart business undertaking, but it’s not necessarily a breezy one (at least not without help).

Enter the international trade trade experts at Secure Global Trade. Our consultants have been onboarding businesses to the CTPAT Program with a 100 percent success rate since its inception. We’ll help determine if your company is a good candidate for the CTPAT Trade Compliance Program and provide customized guidance through the application process.

SGT = Success

Our CTPAT Trade Compliance Program services are:

SGT - Data Driven
SGT Evidence Based
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SGT - Icon - Comprehensive

What’s the Point of CTPAT?

CTPAT stands for Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. Its origins are rooted in the aftermath of 9/11, when the shipping community teamed with the U.S. government to create uniform guidelines to promote safer, more secure supply chains.

Since then, it’s been updated, expanded, and refined several times. But the primary goal has stayed the same: Improved compliance with federal trade rules. By incentivizing importer investment in their own robust compliance safety nets, the government exhausts fewer taxpayer resources on oversight and enforcement. In turn, supply chains run more smoothly: An all-around win.

The CTPAT Trade Compliance Program is a newer version of the Importer Self Assessment Program (ISA), and an extension of the long-standing CTPAT Security Program. The qualification process is no cakewalk, but most find their voluntary cooperation yields a wealth of positive returns that make the effort well worthwhile.

Importer Incentives

CTPAT Trade Compliance Program participant perks include:

  • Trade Compliance Portal and resource materials access.
  • Stronger corporate identity theft protection via a notification/verification system.
  • Greater access to Importer Trade Activity (ITRAC) reports.
  • National Account Manager services. This is basically a CBP advisor/liaison.
  • Fast-tracked, 20-day “front-of-the-line” processing for ruling requests.
  • 30-day grace period to file a prior disclosure if compliance issues do crop up.
  • A chance to secure coverage of multiple Importer of Record (IOR) numbers.
  • Release from the Focused Assessment pool. This limits the scope of future audits to single-issue concerns.
  • Preliminary notification of a Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) hold. Such notices allow importers more lead time to prepare responses and minimize potential damages and supply chain disruptions.

Secure Global Trade, a division of Star USA’s world-class international trade consulting services, helps importers prepare for, apply, and maintain their status in the CTPAT Trade Compliance Program. Services are tailored to each client’s needs - whether that’s ala carte assistance on a single task or an end-to-end partner prepared to shoulder 95% of the heavy lifting.

Our Results


Successful validations & revalidations across 4 continents


SGT maintains a 100% success rate. We get it right - the first time.

Eligibility Requirements

Determining your eligibility is an important first step in the process. Ideal candidates should already have strong compliance monitoring practices in place.

Requirements for application include:

  • Being a U.S. or non-resident Canadian importer who maintains IOR numbers located and physically managed in the U.S.
  • Being a Tier II (validated) or Tier III (exceeding) partner in good standing with the CTPAT Security Program.
  • Having an active import history of 2+ years for all IOR numbers joining the program.
  • No outstanding CBP debts.

Partnering importers will be expected to:

  • Comply with all relevant laws and regulations and program requirements - including the old ISA standards and the new forced labor prevention requirements.
  • Complete all questionnaires and requirement attachments AND continue to provide any updates each year after that.
  • Have a company officer sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the application - and again every year after.
  • Timely complete all program requirements, keep their National Account Manager updated as needed, and notify the relevant authority of any major changes to the organization.

Trust Secure Global Trade

SGT simplifies the CTPAT certification process with comprehensive products and support services designed by industry experts.

Clients get the benefit of:

  • CTPAT Risk Assessment Software
  • Partner Security Assessments
  • Training (Live or Recorded)
  • Policy Updates
  • Global Risk Assessment
  • Annual Security Profile
  • Validation/Revalidation

Our strategies are thorough, flexible, collaborative, and proven to align your internal practices with the most up-to-date federal trade standards so you can achieve and maintain your certification. We empower importers to shore up their supply chains and maximize gains from their CTPAT Trade Compliance Program partner status.

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