CustomsIndustry News

U.S., Mexico enter mutual recognition arrangement

U.S. and Mexican Customs recognize each other’s customs-industry border security programs.

Excerpt from American Shipper |  By: Chris Gillis  | October 20, 2014

The U.S. and Mexican governments announced a mutual recognition arrangement Friday that will strengthen collaboration between U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) and Mexico’s Tax Administration Service’s New Certified Companies Scheme (NEEC).

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CBP spent more than two years reviewing Mexico’s trusted trader program to make sure it measures up to CTPAT standards. 

Mutual recognition agreements require countries to agree to a core group of international customs security standards for corporate validations and overall customs controls, and implement them so that both sides can trust the other to check companies within their borders and share the results. The system is designed to reduce the need for supply chain specialists in each customs administration to travel and self-check foreign points of origin, as well as for shippers to adhere to different supply chain requirements.

“This is a significant milestone for both the United States and Mexico, and the facilitation of secure trade between the two countries,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske in a statement.

The arrangement will link the two industry partnership programs to establish a “unified and sustainable security posture that can assist in securing and facilitating global cargo trade,” CBP said.

CBP outlined the benefits of the program, noting it will allow for fewer cargo exams, a quicker validation process, common standards, efficiency for both customs and businesses, and transparency between customs administrations.

CTPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative to increase security, while allowing legitimate cargo to move efficiently across the border. The program is one layer in CBP’s cargo enforcement strategy.

In addition to Mexico, the United States has mutual recognition arrangements with New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Korea, Israel, Jordan, the European Union, and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office