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U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Singapore sign customs agreements
The United States Monday signed three customs agreements with Singapore, ensuring greater cooperation and mutual assistance on customs enforcement and the facilitation of lawful trade and travel, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske and Singapore Customs Director General Ho Chee Pong signed a U.S.-Singapore Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) and a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) between CBP’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Singapore’s Customs’ Secure Trade (STC) Partnership.
"The signing of the MRA and CMAA between the U.S. and Singapore demonstrates the partnership and commitment of each country to combatting customs fraud and to a secure global supply chain," said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske.
CMAAs are bilateral agreements between countries and enforced by their respective customs administrations. CMAAs provide the legal framework for the exchange of information and evidence to assist countries in the enforcement of customs laws, including duty evasion, trafficking, proliferation, money laundering, and terrorism-related activities. With this new agreement signed, the United States now has 72 CMAAs with other countries across the world.
The mutual recognition arrangement between C-TPAT and Singapore’s STC will link the two industry partnership programs, so that together they create a unified and sustainable security posture that can assist in securing and facilitating global cargo trade, the CBP says. It provides tangible and intangible benefits to C-TPAT and Singapore’s STP members including fewer exams when shipping cargo, a faster validation process, common standards, efficiency for customs and business, transparency between customs administrations, business resumption, front-of-the-line processing, and marketability.
C-TPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve international supply chain and U.S. border security. C-TPAT recognized that CBP 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. The C-TPAT program is one layer in CBP's multi-layered cargo enforcement strategy.
Also signed today by Commissioner Kerlikowske and Singapore’s Commissioner of Immigration & Checkpoints Authority Clarence Yeo is a joint statement regarding CBP’s Global Entry Program. Global Entry is a CBP program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.
(Photo: CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske and Singapore Customs Director General Ho Chee Pong signed a U.S.-Singapore CMAA and MRA between CBP and Singapore's Customs' Secure Trade Partnership.)