Key Dates

- 7/15/2002 - COSCO applies to join C-TPAT.
- 12/31/2002 - COSCO's C-TPAT certificate issued.
- 7/1/2004 - ISPS takes effect.
- Fall 2005 - Validation visits in US and Europe. COSCO is validated.
- 6/1/2006 - New C-TPAT minimum security requirements take effect.
- 11/19/2008 - Customs conducts second validation visit in Hong Kong. COSCO is validated.
- 3/15/2012 - Customs conducted third validation visit in Rotterdam. COSCO is validated.
- 9/9/2016 - Customs conducted fourth validation visit in Secaucus. COSCO is validated.

Want to join C-TPAT?


Effective January 1, 2017, as a result of the merger of the COSCO and CHINA SHIPPING Groups of companies, the sea carrier arm of the newly integrated shipping venture operates under the name of COSCO SHIPPING Lines Co., Ltd. The C-TPAT Portal has been updated to reflect this change.

Please note that the C-TPAT program no longer issues certificates to trade partners. So, C-TPAT program will not be issuing a certificate in the new name. Confirmation of participation in the C-TPAT program must be done by other C-TPAT partners through the C-TPAT Portal.


It is chiSea02269.


As a CTPAT sea carrier, shipping interests are reminded that containers shipped with us must be sealed with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) mechanical seal standard, ISO 17712:2013, which include the embossed "H" on the end of the seal. Other requirements and best practices are in the "CPB Seal Requirements and Best Practices" link under Recommended Reading at the upper-right corner of this page.


The United Nations agency responsible for maritime issues is the International Maritime Organization (IMO), made up of 160-plus signatory member nations. The IMO issued the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), based on the US Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) 2002, which requires ships and terminals to adopt specific security safeguards at varying threat conditions. The USCG approves US terminals and ships, and an appropriate national authority approves for overseas terminals and ships. All COSCO vessels are ISPS compliant.

C-TPAT and ISPS comparison


  • Voluntary, US-administered.
  • For US companies and their trading partners.
  • AMS required to join.
  • Reduced waiting times for cargoes, other benefits.

  • Mandatory, regulated by IMO.
  • For international shipping lines and terminals.
  • No mention regarding AMS.
  • No direct commercial benefits; penalties for failure to comply.

Recommended Reading

Security Programs

Govt Agenices