Bonner Urges Support for Secure Global Trade

Tuesday, June 21, 2005
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Robert C. Bonner will be heading to Brussels, Belgium, to urge the members of the World Customs Organization (WCO) to adopt the WCO Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade. At next week’s WCO Council Session, the 166 members will decide whether to adopt the Framework of Standards, which will provide a set of common standards for governments and the trade community to secure and facilitate the movement 99 percent of trade.

“The Framework represents a worldwide strategy that all nations can implement in order to combat global terrorism and to protect trade and our economies. And, it has the potential to revolutionize the security and efficient movement of global trade,” Commissioner Bonner said. “But its potential counts for little unless it is adopted and implemented.”

Adoption of the Framework will benefit the trade community in a number of major ways. The adoption of a common set of international standards and principles will signal a global movement towards more secure and efficient trade. The adoption of common practices will translate into concrete benefits for the private sector will have the same effect.

The Framework reflects standards contained in existing CBP security initiatives, including the Container Security Initiative (CSI) and the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT). These standards include pre-screening high-risk outbound containerized cargo based upon a risk management system. The Framework also provides benefits akin to those in C-TPAT, such as reduced inspections for traders that meet the Framework’s criteria.

To show CBP’s commitment to making the Framework of Standards a success, CBP has pledged to assist countries in obtaining detection equipment and training in security and risk management and to help ensure that WCO members’ customs-related capacity building needs are met. "Nations that truly demonstrate they have high-level political will and commitment to implement the Framework will need – and deserve – capacity building assistance," Commissioner Bonner said.

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