U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) last week announced the signing of a mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) with Mexico’s Tax Administration Service (SAT) that allows stronger collaboration between CBP’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program and its Mexican counterpart called the New Certified Companies Scheme (NEEC).
“This is a significant milestone for both the United States and Mexico and the facilitation of secure trade between the two countries,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske at a Homeland Security event in San Diego.
According to a CBP press release, the MRA’s goal “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.”
CBP states that the arrangement provides both tangible and intangible benefits to participants including: 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.
The U.S. currently has MRAs in place with New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Korea, Israel, Jordan, the European Union and Taiwan. CBP officials are also in the process of reaching a similar supply chain security agreement with China.
Click here for more information about the C-TPAT MRA initiative.