U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the European Union (EU) today announce the mutual recognition decision between CBP’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program and the EU’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program was fully implemented January 31st.
This final phase of the agreement provides reciprocal benefits to C-TPAT members when exporting to EU member states. These benefits, which include lower risk score and less exams when shipping cargo were provided to members exporting into the U.S. in Phase I of the agreement, which was implemented in July 2012. The agreement was first signed in May 2012 by CBP Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar and European Union Taxation and Customs Union Directorate Director-General Heinz Zourek.
The goal of these arrangements is to link the various international industry partnership programs, so that together they create a unified and sustainable security posture that can assist in securing and facilitating global cargo trade.
In addition to the European Union, CBP also has mutual recognition agreements with Canada, Japan, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan.
This is an additional benefit to companies that are looking to participate in C-TPAT that export to any of the EU member states.
CBP Acting Commissioner David V. Aguilar and Director-General Heinz Zourek, European Union Taxation and Customs Union Directorate (TAXUD) signed the decision, which recognizes compatibility between the EU and the U.S. cargo security programs. The signing marks a milestone in the CBP-EU relationship, completing the original U.S.-EU work program. In the future, both customs authorities will treat members of the other customs authority the same way it treats its own program members.
“I can look back with pride on the considerable work that was completed by CBP and TAXUD to make this effort come to fruition and that we always maintained the necessary focus on security throughout the process,” said Acting Commissioner Aguilar.
“Today's decision on the mutual recognition of the EU and U.S. trade partnership programmes is a win-win achievement: It will save time and money for trusted operators on both sides of the Atlantic while it will allow customs authorities to concentrate their resources on risky consignments and better facilitate legitimate trade,” said Director-General Zourek.
C-TPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and U.S. border security. C-TPAT recognized that U.S. Customs and Border Protection can provide the highest level of cargo security only through close cooperation with the ultimate owners of the international supply chain such as importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers.
AEO is a foreign partnership program that is used as a risk-assessment tool, provides less redundancy and duplication efforts, helps provide a common standard for trade facilitation, and allows for better transparency by providing closer collaboration among Customs Administrations and between Customs administrations and their partnership program companies.
The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Korea Customs Service (KCS) will host the WCO Global AEO Conference in Seoul, Korea from 17-19 April 2012.
This is the first international event on Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) that brings together everyone in the global supply chain.
The Conference will examine the successes and challenges of Customs administrations and the private sector in their efforts to implement AEO programmes, and will focus on enhancing cooperation and partnership between Customs, the private sector and the other key stakeholders, while fostering a global public-private dialogue.
It will also offer excellent opportunities to better understand the current international trade challenges and emerging security protocols around the world, as the establishment and maintenance of standards is essential in securing and facilitating the trade supply chain which includes all stakeholders and economic operators impacted by trade security and trade facilitation.
The speakers and audience will include business leaders, government representatives, international organizations, industry experts, vendors, academics, service providers, donors and other interested participants.
Please visit the site http://www.aeo2012.org for additional information. For a more detailed list of speakers and the program, click here.
Don’t miss this exciting event that might change your whole perspective towards the global supply chain!
(Department of Homeland Security)
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today joined New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully to sign a joint statement on global supply chain security cooperation — further strengthening ongoing collaboration between the United States and New Zealand to promote economic prosperity and make the global supply chain system stronger, smarter and more resilient.
"New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region play an increasingly prominent role in our global commerce and within the global supply chain," said Secretary Napolitano. "This joint statement allows the United States and New Zealand to build upon our existing efforts to enhance international supply chain security and paves the way for future collaboration between our nations."
During today's meeting, Secretary Napolitano and Minister McCully reiterated their commitment to pursuing global supply chain security initiatives designed to prevent terrorists from exploiting the global supply chain to plan and execute attacks; protect the most critical elements of the supply chain system, such as transportation hubs and related critical infrastructure, from attacks and disruptions; and build the resilience of the global supply chain to ensure that if something does happen, the supply chain can recover quickly.
Currently, through Project Global Shield—launched by DHS, the World Customs Organization, INTERPOL, and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime in 2010—New Zealand joins the more than 60 participating nations that share information with each other to ensure that chemicals entering their countries are being used in safe and legal ways, leading to successful interdictions of a number of suspicious shipments and providing promising investigative leads on the smuggling of precursor chemicals into Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In January, Secretary Napolitano joined World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya to announce a new collaboration between DHS and the WCO to enlist other nations, international bodies and the private sector in increasing the security of the global supply chain.
Mexico Customs will launch a pilot of its version of a supply chain security program for trusted shippers in May, an agency official confirmed last week.
The Alliance for Secure Commerce is being developed in the mold of the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and other authorized economic trader programs promoted by the World Customs Organization to reduce opportunities for criminal and terrorist infiltration of containers and truck trailers moving in international commerce.
Authorized economic operator (AEO) programs provide trade facilitation benefits as an incentive to companies that demonstrate that they and their overseas business partners have tight security measures for facilities, personnel, data sharing, transportation and container stuffing. Some programs, such as in the European Union, also offer reduced administrative requirements for companies that have high compliance rates with trade laws. C-TPAT is focused on U.S. importers while some foreign programs focus on exporters to help them avoid U.S. scrutiny and speed their goods to market.
Mexican officials hope to open the Alliance for Secure Commerce for full business participation by the end of the year or early 2012, said Héctor Zavier Landeras Almaraz, the director of the secure supply chain program, in an aside with a reporter at Customs and Border Protection’s Trade Symposium in Washington.
The program needs to be up and running by the middle of next year before the Mexican presidential elections in July to prevent any complications, he added.
Earlier, during a town hall-style meeting, Landeros said Mexican Customs is gathering expertise and best practices from other customs administrations, and learning first hand from CBP officials.
A key goal is to align the program as much as possible with C-TPAT to help lower the cost of trade for companies, he said. U.S. officials have said the more a foreign industry partnership program resembles its standards and procedures, the easier it is to grant reciprocal benefits to exporters from that nation.
Landeros said Mexican Customs officers are conducting joint validations in Mexico to learn how to monitor whether companies are following through on their security promises.