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Canada and Israel will soon begin negotiations on a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) between the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)’s Partners in Protection (PIP) program and the Israel Tax Authority’s Authorized Economic Operator program.
The voluntary programs both aim to facilitate international trade while maintaining border security through certification of qualifying businesses which then become eligible for benefits such as streamlined customs procedures. Under the MRA, a company’s registration as a trusted trader in one program will be recognized by the counterpart program and corresponding benefits will be granted.
Before implementing the MRA, Canada and Israel will have to agree that the PIP and Authorized Economic Operator programs use basically compatible standards when they evaluate candidates for admission. The work of going through the details and deciding on any necessary harmonization is set to begin in November following the signing of a letter of intent by Canadian Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and Israeli Minister of Finance Yair Lapid in Tel Aviv on September 15.
At the signing, Minister Blaney emphasized the strength of the Israeli-Canadian relationship and said that the MRA will lead to more trade and closer cooperation on supply chain security. The two countries already have a free trade agreement, as well as a customs mutual assistance agreement under which they share information related to customs violations.
Canada’s PIP currently has MRAs in place with corresponding programs in the U.S. (the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program), Japan, Singapore and South Korea. The Israel Tax Authority finalized an MRA with the C-TPAT program in June.