New Security Plan Floated to Expedite Global Trade
World Customs Organization endorses new standards based on US model
AMMAN, Jordan - 12/15/04 - For the first time ever, the World Customs Organization (WCO) has endorsed a Framework of Standards to secure and facilitate global trade that is based upon principles designed and implemented by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
CBP Commissioner Robert C. Bonner, joined by WCO Secretary General Michel Danet, WCO Policy Chairman and South African's Revenue Service Commissioner Pravin Gordhan, and the Director General of Jordanian Customs Mahmoud Qteishat announced the approval at a joint press conference in Amman, Jordan.
The WCO represents 164 Customs administrations from around the world and accounts for 99% of all global trade.
The new WCO Framework "is designed to encourage cooperation between worldwide Customs administrations to secure international supply chains and facilitate the movement of goods," said Bonner. "The use of advanced electronic information and smarter, more secure containers are vital components."
Customs administrations, he said, "are in a unique position to provide increased security to the global supply chain and to contribute to socio-economic development through trade facilitation."
The WCO Framework shares some key elements with current CBP initiatives including the 24-Hour Rule; the advanced targeting system housed at the US National Targeting Center in Reston, Virginia; the Container Security Initiative (CSI); and the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT).
Each of these security initiatives were developed and implemented by CBP after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.
Under the 24-Hour Rule, CBP obtains advance electronic information on all cargo shipped to the US 24 hours before a cargo container is loaded at a foreign port. The CBP then evaluates each box for terrorist risk before they are loaded and shipped to the US with 100% of all containers deemed high-risk are then screened, the CBP said.
In partnership with more than a score of other countries, the CBP implemented the Container Security Initiative (CSI), under which US Customs officers stationed abroad screen high-risk containers before they are loaded onboard vessels destined for points in the US.
The CBP also partners with over 7,000 businesses in the C-TPAT program.
Under that program, legitimate foreign companies that conduct regular business with American companies increase the security of their supply chains "in exchange for faster processing through US ports on arrival."
In September, Bonner said "all countries have a stake in protecting global trade because a terrorist attack against one country's trade network would send economic ripples throughout the entire international trade system."
He said that the US-proposed approach "would ensure a uniform and predictable regulatory environment for companies doing business globally."
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