c-tpat requirements

C-TPAT Security Requirements: Access Control and Visitor Management

Are you thinking about becoming C-TPAT certified? If you move goods across the border, this certification can be a boon for your business. To be accepted into the C-TPAT program, your company must meet a set of minimum security requirements. This article reviews the access control and visitor management requirements for importers, exporters, and customs brokers.

Click here to find the minimum security requirements for your industry.

Physical access controls

The goal of access controls is to “prevent unauthorized entry to facilities, maintain control of employees and visitors, and protect company assets.” For all categories of facilities, this requires positive identification of everyone who enters the facility, including employees, visitors, vendors, and service providers.


In general, controls must be in place to make sure only authorized employees can enter secure areas. These controls include employee identification badges and access devices, like keys and keycards. It’s up to company management or security personnel to keep track of who has what level of clearance, as well as to document when badges and access devices are issued, removed, and changed. (For customs brokers, most of the requirements kick in when the number of employees exceeds 50.)


Visitors must meet three main requirements:

  • They must present photo identification for documentation purposes.
  • They must always be escorted.
  • They must visibly display identification, such as a visitor badge.

For customs brokers, the visitor badge requirement comes into play for firms with more than 50 employees. However, all customs brokers must maintain a visitor log that includes visitor name, purpose of the visit, and confirmation of their identity.

Deliveries (including mail)

Finally, all delivery people, including mail carriers, must present proper vendor ID and/or photo identification for documentation purposes. There must also be a screening process for the packages themselves.

How a visitor management system can help

If you’re thinking that all of this sounds a bit daunting, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. A visitor management system is an easy-to-use technology that can help put you on the path toward C-TPAT compliance. Here are some features of The Receptionist for iPad that will come in handy:

  • Check-in/check-out process — Have all visitors check in when they arrive and check out when they leave
  • Custom fields — Customize the check-in process for different types of visitors to record the purpose of their visit
  • Digital visitor log — Keep your visitor log secure and only accessible to people authorized to view it
  • Visitor photos and signature — Capture photos and signatures of all visitors
  • Visitor badges — Instantly print visitor badges with name, photo, expiration date, and other information
  • Deliveries — Collect identification information from all delivery people

As you can see, a visitor management system can help you meet most of the C-TPAT identification and documentation requirements for physical access control.

Click here to start your 14-day free trial of The Receptionist for iPad today.

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