ACCESSION NUMBER:360821 FILE ID:EUR415 DATE:09/15/94 TITLE:U.S., PORTUGAL TO COOPERATE IN INVESTIGATING CUSTOMS OFFENSES (09/15/94) TEXT:*94091513.PFE *EUR415 09/15/94 U.S., PORTUGAL TO COOPERATE IN INVESTIGATING CUSTOMS OFFENSES (Agreement signed 09/15/94) (210) Washington -- Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Portuguese Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso today signed a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) that will assist the two countries in prevention, investigation and repression of Customs offenses such as trade fraud and drug smuggling. The agreement will take effect some months from now after various national legal requirements have been fulfilled. Commenting on the agreement, Assistant Commissioner of U.S. Customs (International Affairs) Douglas Browning said, "International trade and criminal activity are increasing so rapidly, it is essential for us to establish a network of agreements between Customs agencies to share information for facilitating trade and law enforcement purposes. Everyone wins when we establish mechanisms for mutual cooperation to promote international trade and thwart criminal activity." U.S. domestic laws, and most foreign national law, do not permit disclosure of much information in the absence of a formal agreement or treaty. The CMAA will allow U.S. Customs to exchange information, intelligence, and other assistance with Portugal. 1.S. Customs has signed agreements with a number of other countries. As of this date, 25 have entered into force. NNNN .