U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) signed a joint agreement today in Washington, D.C., with the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) to strengthen the countries’ borders by sharing information on people who may present a threat – including illegal immigrants, smugglers and foreign criminals – before they even arrive.
"Strong partnerships mean open lines of communication," said CBP Commissioner W. Ralph Basham. "This agreement equips our frontline personnel with the information they need to protect our citizens and facilitate legitimate trade and travel."
As a result of the agreement, CBP’s National Targeting Center (NTC) and UKBA’s Joint Borders Operations Centre will strengthen the capability of the U.S. and the U.K. to verify travel documents, detect false identities, determine admissibility, carry out customs purposes and identify persons traveling between the countries who may pose a security risk. The exchange of information between NTC and the JBOC will serve both enforcement and facilitation interests of both nations.
“The U.K. is currently undergoing the biggest shake up in its border security for 45 years. This agreement will mean that we are better informed about threats to our borders, and able to target our resources to deal with those threats,” said Brodie Clark, Head of the Border Force, UK Border Agency (UKBA). “It provides a model of international co-operation that will become increasingly important in delivering fast but firm border management.”
The agreement also will improve communication between the two agencies when a person is denied entry and returned to the traveler’s country of origin.
CBP and UKBA signed an agreement June 24 to develop a bilateral pilot program to facilitate travel between the two nations. The International Expedited Traveler Initiative will integrate CBP’s Global Entry program with the British registered traveler program.