Frequently asked questions

Where do the data originally come from?

The data comes from customs, bureaus of statistics etc. 


How is it possible that my trade data are visible to anyone?

For publishers it is possible to get access to this sensitive trade data under the freedom of information act.


When I pay, is it 100% sure my trade data will be confidential and secured?

Only after confirmation of CTO your data are treated as confidential information.
After receipt of your payment CTO will start the procedure(s) to get confidentiality, whereby CTO depends
on the decision of the local/national authorities. Although it never happened, theoretically a request for
confidentiality could be refused. Should this nevertheless occur, CTO will of course refund your payment in full.


How can I be sure that nobody else can get or disclose my data?

Because CTO takes care of confidentiality at the source where the data are originated and disclosed.


For how long are they confidential?

For 24 Months after confirmation by CTO.


Is CTO the only one who can file for confidentiality?

After receipt of your payment and Power of Attorney, CTO as your grantee will send an official request
for confidential treatment of your trade data to the responsible authorities.
For you as a non-resident company, it is impossible to send a request for confidential treatment. 


Are my trade data immediately hidden when I pay?

No, the entire procedure will take 6-8 weeks, only after confirmation you will be safe.


Is it possible to erase historical trade data?

No, unfortunately these data are already spread on the internet and impossible to erase.


Can I find trade data from my competitors?

Yes, as long as they didn’t file for confidential treatment they are still there.
The most detailed information is offered by


When do I know my trade data are hidden and confidential?

As soon as you get a confirmation from CTO your trade data are safe.


Which guarantee do I have that my trade data are safe? And what happens if  they pop up within the 2 years?

After confirmation of confidential treatment by the authorities and CTO, you are safe however, there is always a small chance your name on your shipping documents is spelled slightly different as from the request which has been filed in your certification. In this case that name will be disclosed.


Do I automatically get an alert after the expiration date of confidential treatment?

Yes you do, after 21 months from the starting date of your subscription you will get an alert from CTO.


Why do I have to fill out 9 variations of my company name?

The system filters the companies which have claimed for confidential treatment by its name,
and not a unique number. To be sure your company is covered, also when your name has been written slightly
different or false we ask you to fill out 9 possible variations of your company name.


Why do I have to sign the Power of Attorney?

The power of attorney is there so CTO can act on your behalf, to fulfill all necessary procedures,
make statements,
sign documents etc., to become confidential treatment for your company.


Will I get an invoice?

Yes, you will get an invoice. After we have proved your VAT number it will be without VAT.


Where can I check/monitor if my trade data are really hidden and confidential?

Just goto, click on „Tools“ and „Free search“ and type in your company name.
There shouldn’t appear new shipments in the U.S. database after CTO has confirmed confidentiality.


Why do I get a confirmation of confidentiality from CTO and not from Customs or other
sources or certified bodies?

Because CTO has filed for confidentiality at the authorities as your grantee and the government will only
correspond with the grantee in this case. 


We are part of a division, do we have to file for confidentiality for every company?
Or can we do that as a corporation?

Since the certification is given to a company and its name, you have to file per company.


Which trade data will be confidential?

The confidentiality will cover your company name (and its variations), address and that of your business partners as shipper, consignee or notified party, including identifying marks and numbers, which are normally on a bill of lading.


When CTO goes bankrupt will I still be protected?

Yes, even when CTO will go bankrupt your trade data are safe. Confidentiality is given to your company.


Are my trade data still visible for CTO after confirmation of confidentiality? 

No, once the data are treated as confidential information, nobody except the authorities
will have access to your data,
not even CTO.