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US and UK Sign Customs Agreement

The agreement allows border officials in both countries to continue co-operating on tackling Transatlantic customs fraud

Published on December 18, 2020

US Ambassador Woody Johnson US Ambassador Woody Johnson (right) signs the agreement with Financial Secretary to the Treasury of the UK, Jesse Norman. Photo: US Customs and Border Protection.

The UK and US have signed an agreement to continue customs co-operation after December 31, 2020, when the UK’s transition arrangement with the European Union ends.

Known as the “Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement”, both countries have agreed that UK and US customs officials will continue to work together through sharing data and joint efforts to tackle fraud.

The agreement was signed by US Ambassador, Woody Johnson, and UK Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman, during a meeting at the US Embassy in London on December 16.

Discussing the agreement, Ambassador Johnson said that “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.”

Jesse Norman added that “This is an important agreement that ensures continuity post EU exit, and demonstrates the strength of the US-UK customs relationship.”

News of the agreement was accompanied by reports in recent days that the US and UK could sign a ‘Mini’ Free Trade Deal in the New Year, aimed at reducing tariffs for the Transatlantic trade of products including whisky. During an interview with BBC Radio 4 show, Today, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer said that a Free Trade Agreement with the UK is “extremely likely … before long”.

For more information on the newly signed Customs arrangement between the US and UK, go to www.cbp.gov/newsroom.

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