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EU, US Fully Implement Mutual Recognition Decision

Release Date: 
February 8, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the European Union (EU) today announce the mutual recognition decision between CBP's Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program and the EU's Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program was fully implemented January 31.

This final phase of the agreement provides reciprocal benefits to C-TPAT members when exporting to EU member states. These benefits which include lower risk score and less exams when shipping cargo were provided to members exporting into the U.S. in Phase I of the agreement which was implemented in July 2012. The agreement was first signed in May 2012 by CBP Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar and European Union Taxation and Customs Union Directorate Director-General Heinz Zourek.

The goal of these arrangements is to link the various international industry partnership programs, so that together they create a unified and sustainable security posture that can assist in securing and facilitating global cargo trade.

C-TPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and U.S. border security. C-TPAT recognized that U.S. Customs and Border Protection 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. In addition to the European Union, CBP also has mutual recognition agreements with Canada, Japan, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan.