U.S. Customs and Border Protection and its counterparts in the United Kingdom signed June 29 a letter of intent to increase their cooperation against illegal vehicle imports. CBP states that this agreement marks the beginning of several days of working sessions toward expanding Operation Atlantic, a joint trade enforcement initiative to seize such shipments, onto the European continent.

A CBP press release states that in the U.S. Operation Atlantic involves the teamwork of personnel at the Commercial Analysis and Targeting Center and CBP officers and import specialists at ports of entry. Armed with information from their counterparts in the U.K., CBP personnel can more effectively target illegal vehicle imports. Inspections of imported vehicles have dramatically increased over the past year, with more than 500 vehicles examined (specifically Austin Minis and Land Rover Defenders), and CBP attributes much of that activity to Operation Atlantic.

This week will also see the beginning of increased efforts with other European counterparts to focus trade enforcement efforts on unsafe and illegal vehicle trafficking, the press release states. Customs and law enforcement entities in Europe will work together with CBP officers stationed in-country as part of the Container Security Initiative to intercept suspect vehicles and exchange enforcement information.

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