Washington - U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced the signature of a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement between the Customs agencies of the U.S. and Bahrain. This CMAA marks the 65th agreement of its kind between CBP and foreign customs agencies. The CMAA provides the legal framework for the bilateral exchange of enforcement information between customs authorities. CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin, and the Kingdom of Bahrain's Customs President, Major General Basim Yacob AlHamer, signed the agreement.
Photo Credit:Donna Burton
"The signing of the Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement illustrates the alliance and friendship as well as the cooperation between the United States and the Kingdom of Bahrain," said Bersin. "I am confident that the confluence of national interest and personal respect will result in mutual benefit for both nations."
The CMAA establishes a framework for customs-customs technical assistance, information sharing, and law enforcement cooperation to facilitate greater trade and prevent transshipments and other customs crimes. As the volume of trade increases around the world, so do incidences of transnational crime. The CMAAs are a vital tool for fighting crime and facilitating legitimate trade. They reflect continuing cooperation between the U.S. and signatory governments on a wide variety of trade issues that are enforced by the respective customs administrations.
The CMAA will assist in the gathering of evidence for criminal and civil cases involving trade fraud, money laundering, violations of export control laws, and drug smuggling. It will also permit our customs to exchange information and provide mutual assistance on a range of other issues, including combating terrorism and human trafficking.
In June 1967, the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC), informally known as the World Customs Organization (WCO), adopted a model bilateral convention on mutual administrative assistance for its members to implement as part of a national customs policy. CBP has used this model as a basis for negotiating customs mutual assistance arrangements with other customs administrations since joining the WCO in 1970. Domestic and foreign courts then recognize each arrangement as a legal basis for wide-ranging cooperation.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.