UK and US sign Customs agreement to ensure continued smooth trade

Businesses trading with the United States will be able to continue to trade smoothly following EU exit, after the UK and US governments agreed a deal to continue Customs cooperation.

The bilateral Customs Assistance Agreement was signed by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman and US Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson today at a signing ceremony at the US embassy in London.

The agreement will allow customs authorities to continue to cooperate, including sharing data, to tackle customs fraud, maintaining the current strong relationship between US and UK Customs authorities.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman said:

  • This is an important agreement that ensures continuity post EU exit, and demonstrates the strength of the US-UK customs relationship.
  • This deal will allow us to continue to cooperate in combatting customs offences by sharing information and good practice, and provides the legal underpinning for schemes to ease trade flows for importers and exporters.

US Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson said:

  • Every single day, the U.S. and the UK work side by side to stop criminals trafficking illegal goods across the Atlantic – from guns, to drugs, to illegal wildlife products and even counterfeit medicine.
  • This Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement means that after Brexit, our investigators can keep sharing information to stop criminals in their tracks and keep people in both our countries safe.

It will also provide the legal basis for the Authorised Economic Operator Mutual Recognition Arrangement, which will ensure that people and businesses will continue to benefit at their respective borders.

The Authorised Economic Operator scheme is an internationally recognised quality mark allowing a business customs benefits at the border, in recognition that its role in the international supply chain is secure and that it meets international standards on customs control procedures.

Source: UK Government, 16 December 2020

SA Customs lends Detector Dog support to Mozambique

The SARS Customs Detector Dog Unit (DDU) recently deployed two trained detector dog handlers and dogs on foreign soil in Maputo, Mozambique. This forms part of a Customs co-operation agreement between the governments of South Africa and Mozambique.

The capacity-building programme provides for the training of at least eight detector dog handlers and dogs for Mozambique in over a period of 14 weeks followed by a ‘Train-the-Trainer’ programme for purposes of sustainability.

The deployment of SARS Detector Dog Handlers and dogs trained to interdict endangered species and narcotics in Maputo will promote and strengthen a  cross-border intergovernmental approach in the prevention and detection of smuggling of illicit, illegal goods or substances via ports of entry between Mozambique and South Africa.

The programme is designed to capacitate Mozambique Customs in the establishment of its own canine unit that will further enhance its current non-intrusive scanning enforcement capability at ports of entry and exit. Source and pictures: SARS