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U.S. Signs Customs Pacts with Singapore, Including MRA on Supply Chain Security Programs

Thursday, December 04, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Dec. 1 the signing of three customs agreements with Singapore that CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske said demonstrate the two countries’ commitment to combatting customs fraud and ensuring a secure global supply chain.

The U.S.-Singapore Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement provides the legal framework for the exchange of information and evidence to assist in the enforcement of customs laws, including duty evasion, trafficking, proliferation, money laundering and terrorism-related activities. The U.S. now has 72 CMAAs with other countries across the world.

The mutual recognition arrangement between CBP’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and Singapore’s Customs’ Secure Trade (STC) Partnership will link the two programs “so that together they create a unified and sustainable security posture that can assist in securing and facilitating global cargo trade,” a CBP press release said. Benefits for C-TPAT and STC members under the MRA include “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.”

The two sides also signed a joint statement regarding CBP’s Global Entry program, which allows expedited clearance for pre-approved low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.

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