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Container security: EU–US agreements

Container security: EU–US agreements

 

SUMMARY OF:

Decision 2004/634/EC — conclusion of the agreement between the European Community and the United States on intensifying and broadening the agreement on customs cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters to include cooperation on container security and related matters

Agreement between the European Community and the United States on intensifying and broadening the agreement on customs cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters to include cooperation on container security and related matters

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE AGREEMENT AND THE DECISION?

  • The agreement seeks to extend the 1997 agreement on customs cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters (CMAA), which was designed to develop customs cooperation of the widest possible scope between the European Community (now the European Union) and the United States.
  • In order to cover supply-chain security of transatlantic trade, under the extended agreement the EU and the United States aim to intensify customs cooperation to ensure that general customs control takes due account of security concerns.
  • The decision marks the conclusion of the agreement on behalf of the EU.

KEY POINTS

  • The agreement provides for the prompt expansion of the container security initiative (CSI) to all ports in the EU that meet the relevant requirements. It aims to improve cargo security on a reciprocal basis for both parties whilst ensuring equal treatment of US and EU ports and operators. It also sets out a work programme for the implementation of the following measures:
    • the development of standards for risk management techniques;
    • information required to identify high-risk shipments imported by the parties;
    • industry partnership programmes.
  • The external coordination of customs control standards with the United States is also necessary to guarantee supply-chain security and ensure the continued flow of legitimate trade in containers. The customs authorities of the importing country work together with the customs authorities involved in earlier parts of the supply chain. This is to use timely information and inspection technology to target and screen high-risk containers before they are shipped from their ports or places of loading or transhipment in the respective countries. It is essential to ensure that EU ports can participate in the CSI on the basis of uniform principles. The adoption of comparable standards should also be promoted in US ports.
  • To broaden and intensify customs cooperation between the parties, a consultation procedure has been put in place. EU countries that negotiate arrangements with the United States in the fields governed by the extended CMAA must consult the European Commission and the other EU countries beforehand as well as share information and ensure that the agreed arrangements comply with the EU treaties and policies and the extended CMAA. If the Commission considers that an arrangement, which an EU country wishes to include in cooperation with the United States, does not comply, it informs the country concerned. Similarly, that country is informed when a subject has to be dealt with under the extended CMAA.
  • The EU–US Joint Customs Cooperation Committee is mandated with finding an appropriate form and content for documents and measures with a view to continuing to implement intensified and broadened customs cooperation under the agreement.
  • The agreement sets up a working group composed of representatives of the US customs authorities assisted by interested EU countries. It reports regularly to the Joint Customs Cooperation Committee, the US Customs and Border Protection and the Commission. It has the task of examining and making recommendations in areas such as:
    • defining minimum standards and recommending methods by which those standards may be met;
    • identifying and broadening the application of best practice for security controls of international trade, especially those developed under CSI;
    • establishing standards for the information required to identify and monitor high-risk shipments imported into, transhipped through, or transiting the United States and the EU;
    • improving and establishing standards for targeting and screening such high-risk shipments and developing minimum standards for inspection technologies and screening methodologies;
    • improving and establishing standards for industry partnership programmes to improve supply-chain security and facilitate legitimate trade;
    • identifying any regulatory or legislative changes necessary to implement its recommendations;
    • considering the type of documents and measures to further implement intensified and broadened customs cooperation on the issues set out in the annex to the agreement.
  • In 2004, the EU and the United States adopted, via the Joint Customs Cooperation Committee, recommendations on strengthening the security of the maritime transport of containers under the agreement.

DATE OF ENTRY INTO FORCE

The agreement entered into force on 28 April 2004.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Council Decision 2004/634/EC of 30 March 2004 concerning the conclusion of the agreement between the European Community and the United States of America on intensifying and broadening the agreement on customs cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters to include cooperation on container security and related matters (OJ L 304, 30.9.2004, pp. 32-33)

Agreement between the European Community and the United States of America on intensifying and broadening the agreement on customs cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters to include cooperation on container security and related matters (OJ L 304, 30.9.2004, pp. 34-37)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Council Decision 97/541/EC of 21 May 1997 concerning the conclusion of the agreement between the European Community and the United States of America on customs cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters (OJ L 222, 12.8.1997, p. 16)

Agreement between the European Community and the United States of America on customs cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters (OJ L 222, 12.8.1997, pp. 17-24)

last update 01.04.2020

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