CTPAT Best Practices: Seven Signs Suggesting Security Suspicion

Jan 5, 2023

CTPAT compliance and supply chain security remain a core focus at CH Powell Company as we start the new year, and we are excited to partner with clients participating in this valuable trade initiative. CH Powell’s Regulatory Compliance Manager, Eric Hansel, discusses a recent CTPAT security awareness initiative at CH Powell, focusing on the Seven Signs Suggesting Security Suspicion.

Question: How does CH Powell Company remain current with CTPAT security expectations in a dynamic compliance environment?
Eric: One of the unique characteristics of the CTPAT partnership is its flexibility in its application. The program’s Minimum-Security Criteria (MSC) provide the program expectation, or the “what,” while leaving the application, or the “how,” up to partner organizations. This allows for the partner, in our case Partner Customs Brokerage, to determine how best to implement policies and practices to meet the security expectation. Since multiple organizations are creating various solutions to the same problem, CBP identifies Best Practices and shares them with other Partners.

Question: What is a recent best practice that CH Powell has promoted with employees?
Eric: One of CH Powell’s identified CTPAT Best Practices is the Seven Signs Suggesting Security Suspicion. For us, the “Seven Signs” originated as a security checklist that was printed on file folders associated with an individual entry to remind our staff of potential red flags. As we transitioned to our current paperless operating environment, we redesigned the implementation of this practice to include digital signage and creative business collateral, like custom mouse pads, to keep security at the top of mind of our staff.

Question: What are the Seven Signs?
Eric: The Seven Signs Suggesting Security Suspicion include:

1. Discrepant Commodity Description or Value
2. Unusual Payment Method
3. Inexplicable Routing or Transshipment
4. Overeager Customers
5. Unidentified Parties
6. Uncommon Service Demands
7. Disregard for Regulatory Procedure

The Seven Signs and other best practices will continue to propagate and evolve. Likewise, it is important for all companies, not just CTPAT partners, to review and modify their security procedures to ensure that they are relevant and meaningful!

For more information on the CTPAT program, contact your CH Powell representative