, NAIROBI, Kenya, August 11 – Kenya has signed a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with the United States marking a significant milestone in collaboration on security and trade facilitation between the two countries.
CMAAs are bilateral agreements between countries and are enforced by their respective customs administrations which in Kenya’s case will be Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
The deal was signed between the acting US Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and Kenya’s Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.
“Customs Mutual Assistance Agreements are valuable tools in the enforcement of our laws as they facilitate information sharing between international partners, “McAleenan said. “This agreement will expand our efforts to combat illicit cross-border activities and will enable us to continue our work to prevent, detect and investigate customs offenses.”
CMAAs provide the legal framework for the exchange of information and evidence to assist countries in the enforcement of customs laws, including duty evasion, trafficking, proliferation, money laundering, and terrorism-related activities.
The United States has so far signed 71 Customs Mutual Assistance Agreements with other customs administrations across the world.
The agreements also serve as foundational documents for subsequent information sharing arrangements, including mutual recognition arrangements on authorized economic operator programs.
The US- Kenya Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement was signed at US Customs and Border Protection headquarters as part of the just concluded US-Africa Leadership Summit in Washington, DC. The Summit included meetings between President Barack Obama and 51 African heads of state.
Custom and Border Protection (CBP) is one of the US Department of Homeland Security’s largest and most complex components, with a priority mission of keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the US.
It also has a responsibility for securing the border and facilitating lawful international trade and travel while enforcing hundreds of US laws and regulations, including immigration and drug laws.