WASHINGTON— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske and the Dominican Republic’s Director General (DG) for Customs, Juan Fernando Fernández, signed a Joint Work Plan (JWP) toward Mutual Recognition that allows stronger collaboration between CBP's Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and the Dominican Republic’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program. The signing was held during the CBP International Conference in Crystal City, Virginia.
"The Joint Work Plan places us on a clear path to a future mutual recognition arrangement of our Authorized Economic Operator programs,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “That is a win-win for our countries as we work together to expedite and secure the supply chain and facilitate trade between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic.”
The JWP outlines the requirements that both parties need to accomplish in order to position both Customs Administrations to sign an MRA in the future – possibly as early as 2016. The goal of the mutual recognition arrangement is to link the two industry partnership programs, so that together they create a unified and sustainable security posture that can assist in securing and facilitating global cargo trade.
The arrangement provides tangible and intangible benefits to program members to include: fewer exams when shipping cargo, a faster validation process, common standards, efficiency for Customs and business, transparency between Customs administrations, business resumption, front-of-the-line processing, and marketability.
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 CBP 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.
The United States has mutual recognition arrangements with Mexico, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Korea, Israel, Jordan, the European Union, Singapore, and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office.
For more information, please visit: www.cbp.gov.
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.