The United States and Paraguay concluded updating a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) on Monday, replacing the prior 2002 U.S.-Paraguay CMAA. U.S. Ambassador Lee McClenny and Paraguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Rivas Palacios signed the agreement in Asunción, Paraguay on July 13.
“This revised agreement is a key component to further enhancing our partnership with Paraguay,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan. “The CMAA demonstrates our bilateral commitment to preventing and investigating crimes associated with goods crossing our borders, while simultaneously facilitating legitimate trade.”
The updated U.S.-Paraguay CMAA expands the ability to share information and strengthens trade facilitation efforts and enforcement capabilities. For example, information exchanged under the agreement may now be used in criminal proceedings by both parties.
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. The United States has signed 82 CMAAs with other customs administrations across the world. CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are the implementing agencies for the United States.