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The E.U. and the U.S. Agree on Customs Cooperation for Ocean Cargo

U.S. Customs Director, Richard Bonner and current E.U. President, Ireland?s Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy, have agreed on the accord that expands a 1997 E.U.-U.S. customs agreement to cover trade security, including the creation of common inspection and screening standards, exchanging information, and the replacement of U.S. maritime security pacts with individual European nations agreements.

Frits Bolkestein, E.U. Commissioner for Customs, said, ?The agreement complements the U.S. security initiatives created after September 1, 2001 terrorists attacks on New York and Washington. The E.U. and U.S. will be in a position to deliver a major contribution to ensure that trade can take place in a secure environment on the basis of reciprocity.?

The agreement establishes a working group to advise on security controls of international trade, standards for identifying high-risk shipments, and the need for regulatory changes.