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October 08, 2008 

CBP Announces Inclusion of Third Party Logistics Providers (3PL) in C-TPAT Starting in 2009

U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently announced that it will permit Third Party Logistics Providers (3PLs) to enroll in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program starting in January 2009.

In order to be eligible for participation in the C-TPAT program, the 3PL must:

  • Be directly involved in the handling and management of the cargo throughout any point in the international supply chain, from point of stuffing, up to the first U.S. port of arrival. Entities which only provide domestic services and are not engaged in cross border activities are not eligible.
  • Manage and execute these particular logistics functions using its own transportation, consolidation and/or warehousing assets and resources, on behalf of the client company.
  • Does not allow subcontracting of service beyond a second party other than to other C-TPAT members (does not allow the practice of “double brokering”, that is, the 3PL may contract with a service provider, but may not allow that contractor to further subcontract the actual provision of this service).
  • Be licensed and/or bonded by the Federal Maritime Commission, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or the Department of Transportation.
  • Maintain a staffed office within the United States.
CBP has indicated that non asset-based 3PL’s who perform duties such as quoting, booking, routing, and auditing but do not own warehousing facilities, vehicles, aircraft, or any other transportation assets, will be excluded from C-TPAT enrollment

CBP has issued the C-TPAT minimum-security criteria for 3Pls, which can be found here (doc). The minimum-security criteria is similar to other C-TPAT eligible sectors and includes the following requirements:
  • Business Partner Requirements
1. Service provider screening and selection
2. Customer screening
  • Security procedures
  • Container/Trailer Inspection, Seals, Storage, Security (where applicable)
  • Physical Security and Access Controls
  • Procedural Security
1. Document processing
2. Manifesting
3. Shipping & receiving
4. Discrepancies
  • Information Technology Security
  • Security Training and Threat Awareness
  • All eligibility requirements must be met




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