U.S., SOUTH AFRICA SIGN CUSTOMS ASSISTANCE AGREEMENT
The United States and South African governments signed an agreement Thursday in Washington that will help the countries work together on customs issues.
The Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement provides the basis for cooperation and investigation in the areas of commercial fraud, drug smuggling, and export controls, and will enhance the ability of both countries to enforce their Customs laws.
“This agreement reflects our continued cooperation on a wide variety of trade and enforcement initiatives which will be needed to meet the growing international trade requirements,” said Raymond W. Kelly, U.S. Customs commissioner. He was joined at the signing of the agreement by Shelia Sisulu, South African ambassador to the United States.
U.S. Customs has maintained an attache office in Pretoria, South Africa since 1998. However, U.S. domestic laws, and most foreign national laws, do not permit the disclosure of much information in the absense of a formal agreement or treaty. The agreement will allow U.S. Customs to exchange information, intelligence and other forms of assistance to the South African government.
U.S. Customs has signed 44 similar agreements in recent years. It signed a Mutual Customs Assistance Agreement with the Philippine government on July 27.