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What are the benefits of being certified in Trucking?

Becoming a certified cross-border carrier translates into building business relationships based on trust and transparency with both the Canadian and U.S. customs when trading between the two countries. It's never too early or too late. Getting certified is a real opportunity to succeed in trucking. With an impeccable success rate and decades of experience, there is no better partner than AVAAL.

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CTPAT Certification

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is a voluntary partnership between Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the trade to secure the international supply chain.

In return for partners securing their supply chains, CBP offers C-TPAT shipments expedited processing and provides C-TPAT participants with other benefits.

Benefits of CTPAT Certification

  • Automatic Access to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program.
  • Reduced Automated Targeting System (ATS) scoring, for less frequent inspections.
  • Shipments for inspections directed to the front of the line during random inspection or other agency requirements.
  • C-TPAT "Best Practices" members will rarely face random inspections.
  • Expedited clearance times.
  • Significantly reduced enforcement and compliance inspections.
  • Access to CBP training seminars open only to certified members.

How do Companies Become CTPAT Certified?

In order for an eligible company to become CTPAT certified, they must first conduct and fully document a security risk assessment. Then they must submit an application via the C-TPAT portal. The final step is to complete a supply chain security profile.

Navigating the world of transportation certifications can be complicated though. All applications and documents must be accurate and filed in a timely manner. Our AVAAL Consulting services can handle all of your companies needs when it comes to CTPAT certification.

Who is Eligible for CTPAT Certification?

Only certain types of companies are eligible to become CTPAT certified. This includes:

  • US Importers of record
  • US exporters
  • US/Canada and US/Mexico cross-border highway carriers
  • Mexico long-haul highway carriers
  • Rail carriers
  • Sea carriers
  • Air carriers
  • US Marine port authority and terminal operators
  • Consolidators
  • Mexican manufacturers
  • Canadian manufacturers
  • Certain invited foreign manufacturers
  • Licensed US customs brokers
  • Third-party logistics providers

CSA Certification

The Customs Self Assessment (CSA) is a CBSA program which gives approved importers the benefits of a streamlined accounting and payment process for all imported goods. As an alternative clearance stream for low-risk, high-volume imports, CSA essentially shifts customs accounting and payment away from single transactions in favor of an approach based on monthly reporting.

CSA is the first step in becoming FAST approved northbound into Canada. Much like FAST, the carrier, driver and importer all must be CSA approved.

When an importer becomes a CSA registered member, they must use a CSA approved carrier and a CSA registered driver to bring shipments into Canada. This process will end the need for customs paperwork to be processed by drivers on CSA loads. A CSA approved driver hauling a CSA load must show a photo identification card at the customs booth to enter the country without having to clear the load. All paperwork must be done in advance. Bills signed by the consignee will be proof-of-delivery and considered 'release of the load' by Canada Customs.

Benefits of CSA Certification

  • Speed & efficiency at customs.
  • Minimal paperwork to provide at customs.
  • Compliance with Canadian customs.
  • Automatic access to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program.
  • Streamlined clearance option for CSA eligible goods.
  • The streamlined clearance option eliminates the requirement for any transactional transmissions of data related to eligible goods.
  • Expedited clearance times.
  • Significantly reduced enforcement and compliance inspection.

PIP Certification

Partners in Protection (PIP) is a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) program that enlists the cooperation of private industry to enhance border and trade chain security, combat organized crime and terrorism and help detect and prevent contraband smuggling.

In 2007, under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, the Government of Canada announced $11.6 million in funding to strengthen the PIP program in order to achieve mutual recognition and compatibility with the US Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program. This milestone was reached on June 28, 2008, when the CBSA signed an arrangement with US Customs and Border Protection.

Benefits of PIP Certification

  • Required by CSA participants for automatic access to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program.
  • Reduced Automated Targeting System (ATS) scoring, for less frequent inspections.
  • Shipments for inspections directed to the front of the line during random inspection or other agency requirements.
  • Enhanced reputation as being low-risk companies.
  • Expedited clearance times.
  • Significantly reduced enforcement and compliance inspections.
  • Shipments are eligible for expedited cross-border clearance through Canada's Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program.


The Importer Self-Assessment (ISA) program enables importers to check their internal compliance procedures and processes with CBPlaws and regulations. This program was created with the intention to help support a stable CBPand importer relationship that is mutually beneficial to both parties - having a strong line of communication between the parties.

Benefits of ISA Certification

  • Exemption from the Regulatory Audit's (RA) audit pool.
  • Access to key liaison officials and National Account Managers.
  • Entitled to receive free of charge entry summary trade data (ITRAC Data), including analysis support.
  • Cost saving and enhanced efficiency at the border.


SmartWay is a voluntary logistics partnership program that helps businesses move goods efficiently while keeping fuel costs and environmental impact at a minimum. It also assists companies to benchmark and adjust to industry best practices to obtain the goal of enhancing the sustainability of their supply chains.

Benefits of SmartWay Certification

  • Boost productivity, reduce emissions and be more competitive.
  • Save fuel and operating costs.
  • Be part of a North America-wide network of concerned professionals.
  • Access new technologies that improve performance.
  • Receive an annual benchmarking report to analyze fleet company data.