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Jul 3, 2020

Belize and US Sign Agreement for Stronger Customs Control

The Belize Customs and Excise Department and the US Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection signed a memorandum of cooperation on Thursday. The agreement seeks to provide for collaboration and implementation of an information-sharing programme utilizing cargo manifests and conveyance information. The programme is expected to enhance the ability of both governments to identify and track cargoes, conveyances, and entities that may pose a risk to international supply chains and those that may be involved in nefarious activities. Signing on behalf of the US was Chargé d’Affaires, Keith Gilges while Comptroller of Customs and Excise Department Colin Griffith signed on behalf of Belize.

 

Colin Griffith

Colin Griffith, Comptroller of Customs and Excise Department

“The United States is our largest trading partner and we do some issues with information goods being imported into Belize. This memorandum will allow us the direct opportunity or access to CDP to forward information to us. What it will do is, Belize Customs continues to preach the message of compliance we do Belize when importers recognize the strength of the relationship between customs and the United States it will enforce them to become even more complaint. I am positive that we will have a higher degree of compliance with the relationship based on the memorandum of cooperation.”

 

 

Keith Gilges

Keith Gilges, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy in Belize

“Criminals are sophisticated. They are smart. They are networked. They are good at figuring out gaps in the system and exploiting those gaps. What we want to do with this kind of agreement is say that we are going to close some of those gaps. We are going to make it harder for you. We are going to do better between our two countries in sharing information so that we are better and networked, we are more sophisticated, we get smarter so we can limited the range of options that criminals have.”


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