U.S. and Singapore Sign Mutual Security Programs
December 4, 2014
On December 1, 2014, Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) and Singapore Customs Director General Ho Chee Pong finalized the U.S.– Singapore Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) and a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA). These two agreements link the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) with Singapore’s Customs’ Secure Trade (STC). According to USCBP, CMAA[s] “allow for the exchange of information, intelligence, and documents that will ultimately assist countries in the prevention and investigation of customs offenses.” With the addition of Singapore, the U.S. officially has 72 CMAAs with various nations.
In addition to the CMAA, USCBP announced that the MRA between C-TPAT and the STC “will 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.” Additionally, the MRA will “secur[e] and facilitate[e] global cargo trade” while speeding up the inspections process, decreasing administrative hurdles, and creating mutual standards to increase efficiency.
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