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Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism Mutual Recognition

Mutual Recognition refers to those activities associated with the signing of a document between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and a foreign Customs Administration that provides for the exchange of information. The document, referred to as an “arrangement”, indicates that the security requirements or standards of the foreign industry partnership program, as well as its validation or audit procedures, are the same or similar with those of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program.

The essential concept of MR is that C-TPAT and the foreign program are compatible in both theory and practice so that one program may recognize the validation findings of the other program. Mutual Recognition as a concept is reflected in the World Customs Organization’s Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade, a strategy designed with the support of the United States which enables Customs Administrations to work together to improve their capability in detecting high-risk consignments and expediting the movement of legitimate cargo. Through Mutual Recognition, international industry partnership programs are linked so that together they create a unified and sustainable security posture that can assist in securing and facilitating global cargo trade. Mutual Recognition promotes end to end supply chain security based on program membership.

Current Status

As of December 2014, CBP has signed ten MRA’s:

  • New Zealand - June 2007 – New Zealand Customs Service’s Secure Export Scheme Program.

  • Canada - June 2008 – Canada Border Services Agency’s Partners in Protection Program.

  • Jordan - June 2008 – Jordan Customs Department’s Golden List Program.

  • Japan - June 2009 – Japan Customs and Tariff Bureau’s Authorized Economic Operator Program.

  • Korea - June 2010 – Korean Customs Service’s Authorized Economic Operator Program.

  • European Union - May 2012 – European Union’s Authorized Economic Operator Program.

  • Taiwan - November 2012– Directorate General of Customs, Taiwan Ministry of Finance’s – Authorized Economic Operator Program.*

  • Israel – June 2014 -  Israel Tax Authority’s Authorized Economic Operator Program.

  • Mexico - October 2014 - Mexico Tax Administration Service's New Scheme of Certified Companies (NEEC) Program

  • Singapore – December 2014 – Singapore Customs’ Secure Trade Partnership (STP) Program

*Note: This MRA is signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States. C-TPAT and Taiwan AEO are the designated parties responsible for implementing the MRA.

CBP and C-TPAT are always open to suggestions of potential benefits and welcome feedback from our partners, the trade community, and partners of other supply chain security programs.

For more information, please read the Mutual Recognition FAQ.