The United States signed a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) with Vietnam on Friday to further strengthen bilateral cooperation on security and the facilitation of lawful trade.
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Caryn McClelland and Vietnamese Vice Minister of Finance Vũ Thị Mai signed the agreement in Hanoi on December 6.
“This agreement is a critical step forward in our economic and security partnership with Vietnam,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Assistant Commissioner for International Affairs E. Erik Moncayo. “The CMAA will enable the U.S. and Vietnam to more effectively combat terrorism and transnational crime while facilitating increasing volumes of lawful commerce.”
The United States has now signed 82 CMAAs with other customs administrations across the world.
CMAAs are bilateral agreements between countries that are enforced by their respective customs administrations. They 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. CMAAs also serve as foundational documents for subsequent information sharing arrangements.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are the implementing agencies for the United States.
CBP is one of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s largest and most complex agencies, with a priority mission of keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the United States. It also has a responsibility for securing the border and facilitating lawful international trade and travel while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws and regulations, including immigration and drug laws.
ICE is the largest investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ICE is a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for key homeland security priorities.