The decision by the U.S. and the European Union to recognize each other’s trusted shippers is expected to save those companies money through speedier customs authorization.
The trade pact will allow U.S. and EU customs agencies to focus their attention on less trusted shippers, according to the European Commission. The trade pact between the U.S. and EU, which traded roughly $656.2 billion in 2011, takes effect July 1.
“Today's agreement is a major step forward in the EU-U.S. trade relationship. At a time when businesses need all the support they can get, this will make life easier and cheaper for many transatlantic traders. It will also help to ensure that security checks on traded goods are more focused and effective, further improving the protection that Customs provides for each and every citizen,” said EU Commissioner Algirdas Semeta.
There are more than 10,000 importers, brokers and carriers involved in the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, a voluntary supply chain security program that usually results in less cargo inspection for shipper members. U.S. Customs and Borders Protection is considering expanding the program to include exporters.
There are about 5,000 companies involved in the Authorized Economic Operators program, the EU counterpart to C-TPAT.