The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has entered into an agreement with its U.K. counterpart to certify both countries’ economic operator programs in a push to accelerate supply-chain security.
CBP said Thursday that the agreement validates the agency under the U.K.'s Authorized Economic Operators initiative and approves CBP participation in the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT).
The CTPAT public-private organization includes members of the trade community that work to fortify supply-chain security while identifying key vulnerabilities and best practices in supply-chain management.
CBP’s AEO status certifies its capacity for secure customs control across the international supply chain in line with the U.K. government’s criteria. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) component will also have benefits in trade facilitation as part of the designation.
The authorization comes a month after the U.S. and U.K. concluded their Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement that seeks to establish legal guidelines for information sharing in law enforcement operations.
William Ferrara, executive assistant commissioner at CBP's Office of Field Operations, said the recent arrangement serves as a “mutual recognition” of the two countries’ AEO programs with the aim of eliminating red tape while mitigating risks in the trade activities. CTPAT has expanded to over 11,400 trade-community partners since its inception in 2001.