November 12, 2013

Converge Benefits from Being C-TPAT Certified

What is C-TPAT?

C-TPAT stands for the Customs — Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, which is a collaborative understanding between a business and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency that involves common security requirement standards for the importation of goods or products into the United States. Although it’s an entirely voluntary certification, there are certain requirements for eligibility that a company must meet:

  • A business must have a staffed office in the U.S.
  • A business must be an active U.S. importer or nonresident Canadian importer with a record ID (U.S. Social Security number, U.S. IRS ID(s), or CBP-assigned importer ID).
  •  A business must have a valid import bond that is continuous and registered with CBP.
Upon application approval a company is assigned a supply chain specialist to review, evaluate, and provide suggestions regarding supply chain/import procedures (logistics/compliance), security, employee training, and the overall handling of products/goods before the business is certified. Then once certified, a business must conduct an annual security profile review in order to maintain its certification.

What does it mean to be C-TPAT certified?

Being C-TPAT certified means that a business is willing to invest in the security and protection of its products and the import of its customers’ products. For that reason, most supply chain forwarders/shippers and major OEMs/CEMs won’t do business with an independent distributor that is not C-TPAT certified.

What are the benefits of being C-TPAT certified?

A C-TPAT certified member:
  • Is less likely to be subject to customs inspections and is granted frontline privileges for ocean container imports
  • Will be given priority in customs lines in the event of a national emergency and/or terrorist act
  • Has access to additional training to improve security within its supply chain, which can lead to increased efficiency and cost savings
  • Can continue long-standing relationships with CEMs, OEMs, and forwarders/shippers
  • Is more highly regarded for reputation and brand equity when securing business
C-TPAT certified companies are also open to random audits at any time, including when they are due for recertification. This year Converge was one of the independent distributors randomly selected for a C-TPAT audit. With help from our logistics department and their due diligence throughout the audit process, Converge was proudly recertified in September.

As we have mentioned in our previous blogs posts, Converge is in never-ending pursuit of the best quality and security for our customers.

For more information on our certifications or memberships, please contact us directly at