Customs Mutual Assistance Agreements (CMAA) are legally binding, government-to-government agreements that provide the legal framework for the exchange of information to assist the United States’ international partners in the enforcement against customs offenses. The agreements aid in the prevention, detection, and investigation of crimes associated with goods crossing international borders (e.g., duty evasion, Intellectual Property Rights violations, trafficking).
CMAAs also allow for the sharing of information that is used to assist governments in judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings involving suspected violations of customs laws. These agreements also help establish greater bilateral cooperation on trade and law enforcement issues. Finally, CMAAs facilitate trade by enabling greater efficiency in searches, seizures, detentions, audits, and other enforcement actions, allowing legitimate trade and travel to flow more freely.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement co-negotiate CMAAs with international partners on behalf of the United States through authorization obtained from the U.S. Department of State.
The United States has signed and entered into force CMAAs with the following:
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office§
Trinidad and Tobago
† Successor to the U.S. – USSR CMAA, June 2, 1990
‡ Successor to the U.S. – Czechoslovakia CMAA, May 7, 1991
§ Agreement is between American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States