London: The UK and the US have signed a customs agreement to ensure continued trade after the Brexit transition period expires on December 31.
The bilateral Customs Assistance Agreement was signed by the UK’s Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman and US Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson in London on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency quoted an official statement as saying.
“This is an important agreement that ensures continuity post EU exit,” Norman was quoted as saying in the statement.
“This deal will allow us to continue to cooperate in combating customs offences by sharing information and good practice, and provides the legal underpinning for schemes to ease trade flows for importers and exporters,” he said.
In his remarks, Johnson said: “Every single day, the US and the UK work side by side to stop criminals trafficking illegal goods across the Atlantic – from guns, to drugs, to illegal wildlife products and even counterfeit medicine.
“This Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement means that after Brexit, our investigators can keep sharing information to stop criminals in their tracks and keep people in both our countries safe.”
The deal will provide the legal basis for the Authorised Economic Operator Mutual Recognition Arrangement, which will ensure that people and businesses will continue to benefit at their respective borders.
The Authorised Economic Operator scheme is an internationally recognised quality mark allowing a business customs benefits at the border, in recognition that its role in the international supply chain is secure and that it meets international standards on customs control procedures.
The agreement will also allow customs authorities to continue to cooperate, including sharing data, to tackle customs fraud, maintaining the current strong relationship between US and UK Customs authorities.