United States Signs Customs Mutual Assistance Agreements with Bolivia and Georgia
WASHINGTON— The United States signed two Customs Mutual Assistance Agreements (CMAA) today with Bolivia and with Georgia marking a significant milestone in collaboration on security and trade facilitation. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Executive Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Trade Brenda Smith signed the agreements on behalf of CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Executive President of the National Customs of Bolivia Marlene Ardaya signed on behalf of Bolivia and First Deputy Minister of Finance, Director General of the Georgia Revenue Service Giorgi Tabuashvili signed on behalf of Georgia.
“The legal framework of these agreements strengthen the ties and commitments to exchange information between the United States and these international partners,” said Executive Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Trade Brenda Smith. “These Customs Mutual Assistance Agreements will greatly facilitate U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s work to prevent, detect, and investigate customs offenses.”
The United States has now signed 79 CMAAs with other customs administrations across the world. CMAAs are bilateral agreements between countries and enforced by their respective customs administrations. They provide the legal framework for the exchange of information and evidence to assist countries in the enforcement of customs laws, including duty evasion, trafficking, proliferation, money laundering, and terrorism-related activities. CMAAs also serve as foundational documents for subsequent information sharing arrangements, including mutual recognition arrangements.
CBP is one of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s largest and most complex components, with a priority mission of keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the United States. It also has a responsibility for securing the border and facilitating lawful international trade and travel while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws and regulations, including immigration and drug laws.
ICE is the largest investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ICE is a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities.