WASHINGTON— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske and the Israel Tax Authority Director General Moshe Asher today signed a mutual recognition arrangement between CBP's Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program and the Israel’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program. The signing was held at the World Customs Organization conference in Brussels, Belgium.
"The United States would like to thank Israel and their AEO program for their dedication, cooperation and for their work on the mutual recognition arrangement. The signing of the MRA further strengthens the strong relationship between Israel and the U.S.," said Commissioner Kerlikowske.
The goal of the mutual recognition arrangement is to link these 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 C-TPAT and Israel AEO 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.
In addition to Israel, the United States also has mutual recognition arrangements with New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Korea, Jordan, the European Union and Taiwan.
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.