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How to Maintain CTPAT Compliance With Ease

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Whether you’re already CTPAT certified, currently working on your application, or just starting to explore the process, you’ve likely realized that it’s not a painless process. While CTPAT certification enables numerous benefits for shippers, it also creates a few headaches.

Although filling out the initial paperwork is only mildly tedious, you also have to set up a site visit with a supply chain security specialist to ensure you’re meeting requirements. Plus, you must complete a security profile to show that your organization meets minimum security criteria at every step of your supply chain.

And it doesn’t end after you’re approved—you then have to actively maintain your CTPAT certification.

What does CTPAT maintenance look like? And what steps can you take to lighten the burden and streamline your process? Today, we’re delving into what it takes to keep your CTPAT certification without creating extra work for you and your team.

What Does CTPAT Maintenance Entail?

All partners must complete a documented risk assessment to retain their CTPAT certification. Fortunately, many shippers have already invested resources into risk assessment for business continuity. After all, with extreme weather, civil unrest, the pandemic, and other global events impacting supply chains, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a plan for managing risk and mitigating losses. (In other words, the risk assessment you complete for ongoing CTPAT compliance will further support these endeavors.)

The CTPAT risk assessment is a five-step process:

  • Step 1: Facility and management review
    This involves ensuring all facilities are meeting CTPAT requirements, as well as holding a meeting with management personnel at least once every 12 months to discuss processes, internal and external audits, potential preventative and corrective actions, and other steps you can take as an organization to ensure you comply.
  • Step 2: Security questionnaires, on-site audits, and threat assessment
    You can either send a digital security questionnaire to each of your business partners or visit them for on-site security audits.

    Additionally, you’ll need to identify any possible threats to your supply chain in the countries or regions where you conduct business. These threats typically include terrorist activities, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and corruption.
  • Step 3: Cargo mappingThis step involves mapping out your shipments to show Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that you have command of every part of your supply chain and complete visibility into where freight is located and how it’s being handled.
  • Step 4: Action plan
    If you uncover an issue with one of your business partners, or they scored low on their questionnaire or audit, you’ll need to develop an action plan that details what they need to do to resolve the issue.
  • Step 5: Documentation
    A significant part of CTPAT maintenance is documenting the above efforts to ensure you have all the evidence you need should the CBP ask to review your process.

What Are the Benefits of Using CTPAT Management Software for Maintenance?

If that sounds like a lot of work, you’re not alone. Applying for and maintaining a CTPAT certification can be exhausting. But that’s where CTPAT management software can benefit you. This solution streamlines your efforts by providing the following:

  • Ready-made management review templates
    This helps users host more productive meetings with prompts and fields for recording notes about current challenges and proposed improvements. Veroot CTPAT software also sends automatic reminders when your management review is reaching its expiration date so you can quickly schedule another.
  • Automated security questionnaires and action plans
    Simply provide a contact list with a representative for each of your business partners, and with a single click, you can send surveys (as well as other relevant documents, like standard operating procedures and code of conduct contracts) to each of your contacts.

    Partners will receive automated reminders until they complete the questionnaire. Then, Veroot will calculate the grade and, if necessary, populate an action plan with remediation actions.
  • CTPAT training material
    Veroot offers users a simple but effective CTPAT training module and tests to ensure your workforce and your business partners’ teams are well aware of their responsibilities in maintaining compliance.

Plus, everything is stored in a centralized repository for easy access should you need to review materials, consult action plans, or share documentation with CBP.

By providing you with templates, processes, and automation, CTPAT management software transforms CTPAT maintenance from a time-consuming, headache-inducing initiative into a simple, straightforward practice. By saving you hundreds of hours annually, Veroot helps ensure you maintain compliance while freeing up your time for other efforts.

Ready to learn more? Request a demo