U.S. and Costa Rica sign customs pact

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Servicio Nacional de Aduanas Thursday signed a mutual assistance agreement.

Officials said that the pact will mark a milestone in safety and will facilitate legitimate trade between the two countries.

The agreement was signed by Gil Kerlikowske, U.S. commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, and Rafael Bonilla, director general of the Aduanas here.

The agreement allows the United States to share its best practices and improve professional skills and facilitate and build bilateral trade cooperation, said  Kerlikowske, a former Seattle, Washington, police chief.

To date, the U.S. has signed customs mutual assistance agreements with 74 countries worldwide. In Latin America Washington has agreements with Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Uruguay, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

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