Posts Tagged ‘C-TPAT’


Your Designation Maintenance Begins with our Professional Development Courses


A new year means a new start and this includes a reset to the maintenance requirements of your professional designations set forth by the credential’s governing body. 

Whether you are a Canadian or U.S. Certified Customs Specialist (CCS), a Certified Trade Compliance Specialist (CTCS), a Certified Export Specialist (CES), a designate with the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) or accounting professional, taking any of Pacific Customs Brokers’ seminars and webinars may earn you maintenance points, credits, and hours towards a variety of professional designations.

Review and plan your maintenance for the first half of 2018 by clicking on the course’s name below:

Registration now open!

CDN Importing for Beginners Part 1
CDN Importing for Beginners Part 2
US Importing for Beginners Part 1 1
US Importing for Beginners Part 2 1
FDA Regulated Goods 2 2 1
CFIA Regulated Goods 2 2
NAFTA for Beginners Part 1 1 1
NAFTA for Beginners Part 2 1
Shipping Perishables – NEW! 3 3
CDN Trade Compliance Part 1 5 5
CDN Trade Compliance Part 2 5 5 3
Exporting from Canada 5 3 3
US Trade Compliance Part 1 5 5 3
US Trade Compliance Part 2 5 5 3 3
HS Tariff Classification 5 6 4
Free Trade Agreements 5 5 5
Customs Valuation 5 5
CFIA 5 5
FDA 5 5 3
C-TPAT 2.5 2.5 2 2


If you have never attended one of our Professional Development Courses, the following information might help you decide on attending the next one.

Professional Development Courses – Webinars

Our webinars are designed to meet the demands of the global trade community. These live webinars are a convenient way for trade professionals to stay ahead of new regulations with international trade and gain additional knowledge in key areas. The benefits of attending an online course include:

  • Cost-effectiveness – More affordable than industry standards and some even offered complimentary
  • Global accessibility – Travel is removed from the equation for companies with multiple locations or branches
  • Convenience – Attend from the comfort of your desk
  • Concise training – In a fast-paced industry, efficiency becomes just as important as staying compliant
  • Industry recognized sessions – Earn points towards maintenance of your industry designations

Professional Development Courses – Seminars and Workshops

At these in-person sessions, you will learn the best practices on being compliant as an importer and/or exporter helping you expedite your commercial shipments rather than triggering costly delays. Our experts share their knowledge on international and cross-border shipping to keep you current with customs and participating government agency regulations.  The benefits of attending an in-person seminar or workshop include:

  • All day access – Get our experts to answer your questions one-on-one
  • Case studies and real-life examples – Examine other attendees’ trade compliance issues
  • Cost-effectiveness – More affordable than industry standards
  • Range of topics – Choose from a wide variety of seminar topics
  • Certificate of Completion – Receive a certificate for each course you attend
  • Handouts – Take home your own set of course material
  • Industry recognized sessions – Earn points towards maintenance of your industry designations
  • Networking – Connect with other like-minded professionals


Have questions or comments about any of our courses? Call 888.538.1566 or email us today!

Are You At Risk For Losing Your Certification In C-TPAT?

CTPAT-logo-550For those of us who are partners in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program, the prospect of of having our certification suspended or revoked is not a pleasant one. We worked hard at becoming partners, and continue to diligently assure that our companies are living up to our voluntary commitments to the program.

While the actual level of suspension or removal from C-TPAT participation remains quite small – according to an update published by Customs in June 2013, there were 1,633 suspensions (3%) and 1,194 removals (1%) during 2012 – there have been serious and ongoing concerns voiced by the trade community about what is seen to be very prompt action on the part of Customs when a breach is either voluntarily disclosed by the Partner or discovered by Customs.

The United States Customs and Border Protection has released a document outlining the causes of suspending removing partners from the program, and processes of appeal and reinstatement. The publication can be found at: Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.

Customs issued this publication, in part at least, due to serious and ongoing concerns brought to them by the national trucking associations of both Canada and the U.S.including the Canadian Trucking Alliance, and the American Trucking Association during meetings held with the U.S. embassy in Ottawa and the Department of Homeland Security.

In the document, Customs states that preceding such actions as suspension or removal, extensive outreach is conducted, and that “subsequent to to removing a Partners benefits, additional outreach efforts are conducted to help the Partner address gaps, vulnerabilities, or weaknesses which led to the suspension, removal or ineligibility determination.” It is not Customs to “arbitrarily suspend or remove a partner from the program [and] make every effort to work with the partner to achieve required levels of compliance

The document addresses the law mandating that Customs impose rigorous oversight of the program, including the suspension or removal of partners who fail to meet program requirements. In order for C-TPAT to achieve success, and to be an effective security tie, the parties must work in partnership, without the fear of removal from the program for minor infractions that are quickly rectified.

In addition to the informative publication linked on the Customs website above, DHS provided the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) with a helpful checklist of questions that a C-TPAT partner should ask themselves. A link to the CTA website with all of the questions can be found here: CTA Briefing Note

While the questions are directed to Carriers, all participants in the program, whether importers, customs broker or other partners, can use this checklist as one more excellent “tool in the toolbox” to assure that we retain our Partner status in C-TPAT in good standing.

Additional Resources:

More information related to C-TPAT can be found in:

Would Interest You to Partner with Customs?

The Benefits of C-TPAT for Carriers

 The Value of Partners in Protection (PIP) & C-TPAT Memberships




The Benefits of C-TPAT for Carriers

C-TPAT LogoFor the past few years, we’ve all been hearing the buzz about Customs – Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and some of us have jumped on the band wagon. In fact, over 10,000 companies – including carriers, importers, customs brokers and other eligible firms are voluntary certified participants in this terrorism avoidance initiative.

Are you interested in learning what this initiative is all about, but have been hearing how difficult it is to obtain certification, and what tremendous resources it will take to get there, and how the costs seem to outweigh the benefits? There is some truth to this, but most anything worth having comes with a price. So, we have to ask ourselves, is C-TPAT certification worth pursuing? C-TPAT is still a fairly young program and it continues to evolve. That being said, the challenges that come along with developing your procedures and policies will be quite unique to your company, as will the benefits of participation.

Benefits of C-TPAT participation include:

  • Reduced number of cargo inspections
  • Emphasis on self-policing as opposed to Customs verification

These benefits translate into some valuable practical considerations, including:

  • Cost savings – a full Customs exam can cost upward of $500 – $1000 per container
  • The more parties involved in a transaction who are C-TPAT partners, the lower the likely-hood of cargo inspections
  • C-TPAT membership is considered a mitigating factor in the case of potential penalty matters
  • Ongoing familiarity with the program decreases the necessary time spent and resources involved in assuring compliance

As the program evolves, it is expected that the benefits will continue to outweigh the costs or perceived disadvantages to becoming a participant in the program. While there are no commitments from Customs, the trade has requested that Customs consider a number of new benefits for the “next generation” of C-TPAT.

Some of the next generation benefits of C-TPAT could include:

  • Basing cargo release on 10+2 data and permitting monthly entry of cargo aligned with the periodic monthly statement
  • Expedited responses to ruling requests
  • Enhanced penalty mitigation
  • Prior disclosure benefits
  • Further lowering of the number of inspections
  • Tax incentives for supply chain security and safety enhancements
  • Mutual recognition with other countries” approved security programs

What is involved in becoming C-TPAT certified?

  • Complete and submit the Agreement to Voluntarily Participate in C-TPAT
  • Complete and submit the Supply Chain Security Profile Questionnaire – be aware that it is possible that Customs will request or require changes and upgrades to your processes
  • Assure that your stated procedures are followed through on, and updated as necessary
    Some of the absolutely, positively, must haves in order to become C-TPAT certified, and to be an effective participant in the program include:
  • Having the full commitment and support from high-level company management
  • Integrating C-TPAT participation into your overall supply chain security program
  • Assigning dedicated staff or team to manage the project on a continuing basis

This blog is an informal and brief summation of the good, the bad & the ugly about C-TPAT. For more detailed information, please see


Pacific Customs Brokers, Inc. is proud to be a participant in the C-TPAT Program. We will be very pleased to discuss and consult with you on your questions regarding the possible benefits and hurdles of C-TPAT participation at your convenience.

Have questions about C-TPAT and its impact on your business? Send them in through our comments section below.


You Asked… About PIP

Partners in Protection logoI was reading the blog about PIP and was wondering if you have to be a large company to register. I do cross border shipping with Pacific Customs Brokers now. But I have lots of inspection problems. Please give me more information. I can’ t attend seminars. I live in Victoria.

Thank you for your inquiry regarding our blog on The Value of Partners in Protection & C-TPAT Memberships.

The Partners in Protection Program is for companies of all sizes. Having said that, in order to become a PIP “Member” you must fall into one of the approved categories, a few of them being Importers / Exporters, Carriers and Warehouse Operators to name a few.

Our seminar attendees have traveled as far away as California and Maryland.  One of the benefits for ALL organizations for the PIP Seminar, is that it will be providing detailed information regarding membership benefits, and the application process. This seminar will be able to help you decide whether PIP membership is feasible for your organization.

Also, we are pleased to say Canada Border Services Agency will have a PIP Intelligence Officer at our seminar who will be able to assist in answering questions, particularly about where the PIP program is headed.

In the event you simple cannot make this seminar, we may be able to conduct an informative telephone conference, or private consultation, with one of our security team members.

On a personal note, inspection delays are expensive and time consuming. Becoming a trusted trader and using a trusted carrier may be able to help lessen some of those delays and inspection problems you are experiencing.

Additionally, at Pacific Customs Brokers, we offer a range of consulting services for small business to help improve your cross border experiences, including mini audits and document reviews. To help reduce inspection delays, one of our trade compliance experts would be more that happy to discuss the benefits of reviewing the customs clearance documents that are being provided to the carrier.

We hope this helps!

The Value of Partners in Protection (PIP) & C-TPAT Memberships

Partners in Protection logoInterested in spending more time on shipping and less on border delays? In the age of global trading, your reputation as a company will be focused on security practices and getting your goods across the border with fewer inspections and expedited border clearances.

The recent Partners in Protection (PIP) Newsletter confirmed as at January 1, 2012, there were 1,449 PIP Members in Canada. With the recent announcements with the U.S. for a “shared vision for perimeter security”, PIP has also confirmed that 78% of all PIP Members are already C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) Certified as well.

Is it necessary? For some, yes! PIP Membership is a necessity for eligibility into certain programs. As a PIP Member you are committed to supply chain security, and the benefits include:

  • Eligibility to apply to the FAST Program;
  • Eligibility to the Low Value Shipment Program;
  • Enhanced reputation as being a low-risk company;
  • Fewer border delays; and
  • Expedited clearances

As the United States and Canada have agreed to a shared vision for perimeter security, we can expect that perimeter security to slowly become more harmonized.

What does that mean exactly? To start, an initiative has been announced for the C-TPAT and PIP Programs. Other programs will become more integrated such as the Trusted Trader Program and Partners in Compliance (under the Customs Self Assessment).

Of the 1,449 PIP Members in Canada, 62% of those are highway carriers. The benefits of expedited border clearances and fewer inspections combined with the enhanced reputation can provide you with a competitive advantage, as well as position your organization to be internationally recognized.

Pacific Customs Brokers is pleased to provide a PIP and C-TPAT informative seminar on March 29, 2012, which will provide you with details about the applications and the membership processes.  To register for the PIP Seminar. To register for the C-TPAT Seminar.