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Agreement bolsters U.S.-U.K. supply chain security

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Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials said an agreement reached between the United States and the United Kingdom would strengthen supply chain security.

“This arrangement will take U.S.-UK cooperation on supply chain security to the next level,” William A. Ferrara, executive assistant commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations, said concerning formal recognition of one another’s authorized economic operator programs. “Mutual recognition of the U.S. and UK authorized economic operator programs will mitigate risks, improve information sharing, and eliminate red tape for our partners in the trade community.”

Economic operator programs enable low-risk trade community members to meet internationally-recognized supply chain security standards to realize trade facilitation benefits.

Under the arrangement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection would accept the validation of UK Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) and grant them approval status in the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT). Additionally, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs will likewise accept CTPAT members’ validation and grant them approval status as AEOs.

CTPAT is a voluntary, public-private partnership in which trade community members cooperate with CBP to protect the supply chain, identify security gaps, and implement specific security measures and best practices. Since its inception in 2001, CTPAT has grown to include more than 11,400 certified partners throughout the trade community.

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