The United States and Malaysia Sign Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement

Photo of two men shaking hands.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Alan Bersin with Datuk Ahmad Maslan, Deputy Finance Minister 1 after the signing ceremony. (U.S. Embassy photo)

The United States and Malaysia signed a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) on Tuesday, marking a significant milestone in collaboration on security and trade facilitation between the two countries. U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Alan Bersin signed the agreement on behalf of the United States and Deputy Finance Minister 1 Datuk Ahmad Maslan signed the agreement on behalf of Malaysia.

Photo of two men posing for a photo.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Dato’ Abdul Malek Abdul Aziz and Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Alan Bersin. (U.S. Embassy photo)

“Customs Mutual Assistance Agreements are valuable tools in law enforcement as they facilitate information sharing with international partners,” said Assistant Secretary Bersin. “This agreement will improve coordination in combating illicit cross-border activities and will enable both countries to better prevent, detect, and investigate customs offenses.”

This signing reflects the strength of the U.S.-Malaysia relationship and the increased level of bilateral engagement and cooperation in recent years.  The United States and Malaysia work together on a broad range of issues, including trade and investment, education, security and defense, and the environment.  This close collaboration is reflected in the Comprehensive Partnership Agreement, signed by Prime Minister Najib and President Obama this year.

CMAAs are bilateral agreements between countries and are enforced by their respective customs administrations.  CMAAs provide the legal framework for the exchange of information and cooperation.  They help countries prevent, detect and investigate customs offenses and crimes associated with goods crossing international borders, including duty evasion, trafficking, proliferation, money laundering, and terrorism-related activities.

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