U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske joined customs directors general from 26 countries of the Americas and Caribbean in Lima, Peru, for the XVII Regional Conference of Customs Directors General, April 23 and 24.
Commissioner Kerlikowske and his colleagues adopted the Lima Resolution, approving a Regional Risk Management Strategy to identify pressing risks in the Western Hemisphere and establish common risk-management principles.
The Commissioner also moderated a conference panel on Best Practices for Improving Coordinated Border Management. The panel discussion covered the importance of World Customs Organization tools and instruments, data harmonization efforts and sharing best customs practices.
The Commissioner also provided an update on the Authorized Economic Operator Regional Strategy, which the customs directors general adopted in 2013. Argentina and the U.S. co-coordinate the regional strategy; all countries in the region with an AEO program participate in a coordinating committee.
“This has been a particularly excellent opportunity for me, as a new official, to participate in the regional dialogue,” said Commissioner Kerlikowske. “We look forward to working together in the coming year to advance AEO and the other important initiatives we've discussed this week.”
The Commissioner also held a number of bilateral meetings on strategic issues, and participated in a conference session with the private sector.
The Regional Conference of Customs Directors General is a forum for customs leaders in the region to discuss issues and challenges of mutual interest, including items under discussion in the World Customs Organization. This year’s agenda also included the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement and coordinated border management.
Peru Customs hosted the event this year, with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala Tasso welcoming participants at the conference’s opening session.
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.