WASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske and Mexico's Tax Administration Service (SAT) Chief Aristóteles Núñez Sánchez today signed a mutual recognition arrangement that allows stronger collaboration between CBP's Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and SAT's New Certified Companies Scheme (NEEC). The signing was held at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico Executive Steering Committee Meeting in San Diego.
"I am pleased to be here to join Chief Núñez in the signing of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “This is a significant milestone for both the United States and Mexico and the facilitation of secure trade between the two countries.”
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.
In addition to Mexico, the United States also has mutual recognition arrangements with New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Korea, Israel, Jordan, the European Union and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office.
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.