Thursday, 22 September 2016 10:23

Customs Mutual Administrative Agreement Signed Between T&T And US

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On September 21st, 2016 Minister of Finance Colm Imbert and United States Ambassador John Estrada signed the Customs Mutual Administrative Agreement (CMAA). Both officials signed the CMAA on behalf of their respective countries governments.

According to a release by the Ministry of Finance the CMAA is a treaty that allows counterpart customs authorities in different countries to exchange information as well as intelligence, documents and assistance that will ultimately assist in the prevention and investigation of customs offences.
Trinidad and Tobago is the first CARICOM State to have signed this agreement with the USA.

The agreement will assist T&T in areas such as:

• Detecting, preventing and prosecuting:
1. The illicit importation and exportation of illegal narcotics, firearms and tainted cash into T&T from the USA and potentially from other states that have concluded CMAA’s with the USA
2. Valuation fraud, therefore leading to greater revenue collection
3. Money laundering, terrorist financing and human trafficking.

• Assisting T&T in meeting the deficiencies identified at paragraphs 145, 149, 395 and 405 of T&T’s 4th Round CFATF Mutual Evaluation Report, June 2016

• Aiding T&T in meeting its objective of increasing international cooperation under its Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF)-styled Action Plan

• Fortifying the intelligence apparatus of the Customs and Excise Division including establishing strong linkages in the areas of terrorism, human trafficking and money laundering

• Fortifying the technical agreement between the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Office of International Affairs, United States Customs and Border Protection.

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