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1.Signed on January 17, 2001 Entered into force on January 17, 2001
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U
nited States (TECRO) and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT),
hereinafter referred to as "the Parties,"
Considering that offenses against customs laws are prejudicial
to the economic, fiscal and commercial interests of their respe-
ctive customs territories;
Considering the importance of assuring the accurate assessment
of customs duties and other taxes;
Recognizing the need for international cooperation in matters r-
elated to the administration and enforcement of the customs laws
of their respective customs territories;
Having regard to the international conventions containing prohi-
bitions, restrictions and special measures of control in respect
of specific goods;
Convinced that action against customs offenses can be made more
effective by cooperation between the designated representatives
of AIT and TECRO; and
Having regard to the Recommendation of the Customs Cooperation
Council regarding Mutual Administrative Assistance of
December 5, 1953;
Have agreed as follows:
For the purposes of the present Agreement:
1.the designated representative of TECRO is Taiwan Department of
Customs Administration, Ministry of Finance; and the designat-
ed representative of AIT is the United States Customs Service,
Department of the Treasury. Both designated representatives
will be referred to as "Customs Administrations";
2.the term "customs laws" means the laws and regulations enforc-
ed by the Customs Administrations concerning the importation,
exportation, and transit or circulation of goods as they rela-
te to customs duties, charges, and other taxes or to prohibit-
ions, restrictions, and other similar controls respecting the
movement of controlled items across the boundaries of their s-
eparate customs territories;
3.the term "information" means data in any form, documents, rec-
ords, and reports or certified or authenticated copies thereof
4.the term "offense" means any violation or attempted violation
of the customs laws;
5.the term "person" means any natural or legal person;
6.the term "property" means assets of every kind, whether corpo-
real or incorporeal, movable or immovable, tangible or intang-
ible, and legal documents or instruments evidencing title to
or an interest in such assets;
7.the term "provisional measures" includes:
a."seizure" or "freezing," which means:
(i) temporarily prohibiting the conversion, disposition, move-
ment, or transfer of property, or
(ii) temporarily assuming custody or control of property on t-
he basis of an order issued by a court or competent auth-
ority, or other means; and
b."forfeiture" means the deprivation of property by order of a
court or competent authority and includes confiscation where
8.the term "requesting administration" means the Customs Admini-
stration that requests assistance;
9.the term "requested administration" means the Customs Adminis-
tration from which assistance is requested.
1.The Parties, through their Customs Administrations, shall ass-
ist each other, in accordance with the provisions of this Agr-
eement, in preventing, investigating, and repressing any offe-
2.Each Customs Administration shall execute requests for assist-
ance made pursuant to this Agreement in accordance with the d-
omestic law of the territory of the Party it represents.
3.This Agreement is intended solely for mutual assistance betwe-
en the Parties and their Customs Administrations; the provisi-
ons of this Agreement shall not give rise to a right on the p-
art of any private person to obtain, suppress, or exclude any
evidence, or to impede the execution of a request.
1.Upon request, a Customs Administration shall provide assistan-
ce in the form of information necessary to ensure the enforce-
ment of the customs laws and the accurate assessment of custo-
ms duties and other taxes by the Customs Administrations.
2.Upon request or upon its own initiative, a Customs Administra-
tion may provide assistance in the form of information, inclu-
ding but not limited to, information concerning:
a.methods and techniques of processing passengers and cargo;
b.the successful application of enforcement aids and techniqu-
c.enforcement actions that might be useful to suppress offens-
es and, in particular, special means of combating offenses;
and methods used in committing offenses, and illicit traffic
3.The Customs Administrations shall cooperate in:
a.establishing and maintaining channels of communication to f-
acilitate the secure and rapid exchange of information;
b.facilitating effective coordination;
c.the consideration and testing of new equipment or customs pro-
d.furnishing on a continuing basis information to assist in tar-
geting international illicit trafficking activities;
e.the exchange of experts knowledgeable in customs enforcement,
laws, regulations, practices and procedures; activities and assistance in developing specialized
skills for customs personnel; and
g.any other general administrative matters that may from time to
time require their joint action.
1.Upon request, the Customs Administrations shall inform each o-
ther whether goods exported from the territory of one Customs
Administration have been lawfully imported into the territory
of the other Customs Administration. If requested, the infor-
mation shall contain the customs procedure used for clearing
the goods.
2.Upon request, a requested administration shall exercise, to t-
he extent of its ability and within the limits of its availab-
le resources, special surveillance of:
a.persons known to the requesting administration to have comm-
itted a customs offense or suspected of doing so, particula-
rly those moving into and out of its customs territory;
b.goods either in transport or in storage identified by the r-
equesting administration as giving rise to suspected illicit
traffic toward its customs territory; and
c.means of transport suspected of being used in offenses with-
in the customs territory of the requesting administration.
3.Upon request or on their own initiative, the Customs Administ-
rations shall furnish to each other information regarding the
activities that may result in offenses within the territory of
the other Customs Administration. In situations that could i-
nvolve substantial damage to the economy, public health, publ-
ic security, or similar vital interest of the territory of the
other Customs Administration, the Customs Administrations, wh-
erever possible, shall supply such information without being
requested to do so.
4.The Customs Administrations and other relevant authorities of
the territories represented by the Parties shall provide assi-
stance through the use of provisional measures and in proceed-
ings involving property, proceeds, and instrumentalities subj-
ect to these provisional measures.
5.The Customs Administrations may:
a.dispose of property, proceeds, and instrumentalities forfei-
ted as a result of assistance provided under this Agreement
in accordance with the domestic law of the territory repres-
ented by the Party whose Customs Administration controls the
property, proceeds, and instrumentalities; and the extent permitted by their respective domestic laws,
transfer forfeited property, proceeds, or instrumentalities,
or the proceeds of their sale, to the other Customs Adminis-
tration upon such terms as may be agreed.
1.Upon request, the Customs Administrations shall provide infor-
mation relating to transportation and shipment of goods showi-
ng value, destination, and disposition of those goods.
2.A requesting administration may request originals of files, d-
ocuments, and other materials only where copies would be insu-
fficient. Upon request, the requested administration shall p-
rovide properly authenticated copies of such files, documents,
and other materials.
3.Unless the requesting administration specifically requests or-
iginals or copies, the requested administration may transmit
computer-based information in any form. The requested admini-
stration shall supply all information relevant for interpreti-
ng or utilizing computer-based information at the same time.
4.If the requested administration agrees, employees designated
by the requesting administration may examine, in the offices
of the requested administration, information relevant to an o-
ffense and make copies thereof or extract information therefr-
5.Originals of files, documents, and other materials that have
been transmitted shall be returned at the earliest opportunity
; rights of the requested administration or of third parties
relating thereto shall remain unaffected.
1.Except in extraordinary circumstances, the requested administ-
ration shall authorize its employees to appear as witnesses in
judicial or administrative proceedings in the territory repre-
sented by the Party whose Customs Administration initiated the
request and to produce files, documents, or other materials or
authenticated copies thereof.
2.Where a customs employee requested to appear as a witness is
entitled to any applicable immunities, the authorities of the
territory represented by the Party whose Customs Administrati-
on received the request will sympathetically consider a waiver
of immunity under such conditions as it determines to be appr-
1.Requests pursuant to this Agreement shall be made in writing
directly between employees designated by the Heads of the res-
pective Customs Administrations. Information deemed useful f-
or the execution of requests shall accompany the request. In
urgent situations, oral requests may be made and accepted, but
shall be promptly confirmed in writing.
2.Requests shall include:
a.the name of the authority making the request;
b.the nature of the matter or proceedings;
c.a brief statement of the facts and offenses involved;
d.the reason for the request; and
e.the names and addresses of the parties concerned in the mat-
ter, or proceeding, if known.
1.The requested administration shall take all reasonable measur-
es to execute a request and shall endeavor to secure execution
of any measure necessary for that purpose.
2.If the requested administration is not the appropriate agency
to execute a request, it shall promptly transmit it to the ap-
propriate agency and so advise the requesting administration.
3.The requested administration shall conduct such inspections,
verifications, fact-finding inquiries, or other investigative
steps, including the questioning of experts, witnesses, and p-
ersons suspected of having committed an offense, as are neces-
sary to execute a request. Requesting administration employe-
es may be present at the above-mentioned actions conducted by
the requested administration.
4.Upon request, the requesting administration shall be advised
of the time and place of action to be taken in execution of a
5.Upon request, the authorities of the territory represented by
the requested Party shall authorize, to the fullest extent po-
ssible, employees of the authorities of the territory represe-
nted by the requesting Party to be present in the territory r-
epresented by the Requested Party to assist in execution of t-
he request.
6.The requested administration shall comply with a request that
a certain procedure be followed to the extent that such proce-
dure is not prohibited by the domestic law in the territory r-
epresented by the Party whose Customs Administration received
the request.
1.Information obtained under this Agreement shall be afforded t-
he same degree of confidentiality by the authorities of the t-
erritory represented by the receiving Party that they apply to
similar information in their custody.
2.Information obtained under this Agreement may only be used or
disclosed for the purposes specified in this Agreement, inclu-
ding use in judicial, administrative, or investigative procee-
dings. Such information may be used or disclosed for other p-
urposes or by other authorities if the supplying Customs Admi-
nistration has expressly approved such use or disclosure in w-
3.Upon request of the requested administration, the authorities
of the territory represented by the requesting Party shall tr-
eat information received as confidential except to the extent
necessary to fulfill the purposes of this Agreement or to the
extent that the requested administration has given its consent
. The requested administration shall state its reasons for ma-
king a request for confidentiality.
4.This Article shall not preclude the use or disclosure of info-
rmation to the extent that there is an obligation to do so un-
der the Constitution or relevant laws of the territory repres-
ented by the Party whose Customs Administration initiated the
request in connection with a criminal prosecution. The reques-
ting administration shall give advance notice of any such pro-
posed disclosure to the requested administration.
1.Where the authorities of the territory represented by the Par-
ty whose Customs Administration received the request determine
that granting assistance would infringe upon the security, pu-
blic policy or similar essential interests, or would be incon-
sistent with the domestic law and regulations, of the territo-
ry represented by that Party, the requested administration may
refuse or withhold assistance, or may grant it subject to the
satisfaction of certain conditions or requirements.
2.If the requesting administration would be unable to comply if
a similar request were made by the requested administration,
it shall draw attention to that fact in its request. Complia-
nce with such a request shall be at the discretion of the req-
uested administration.
3.The requested administration may postpone assistance on the g-
round that it will interfere with an ongoing investigation, p-
rosecution, or proceeding. In such instance, the requested a-
dministration shall consult with the requesting administration
to determine if assistance can be given subject to such terms
or conditions as the requested administration may require.
4.In the event that a request cannot be complied with, the requ-
esting administration shall be promptly notified and provided
with a statement of the reasons for postponement or denial of
the request. Circumstances that might be of importance for t-
he further pursuit of the matter shall also be provided to the
requesting administration.
1.The Parties and their designated representatives shall normal-
ly waive all claims for reimbursement of costs incurred in the
implementation of this Agreement with the exception of expens-
es for experts and witnesses, fees of experts, and costs of t-
ranslators and interpreters other than employees of the autho-
rities represented by the Parties.
2.If expenses of a substantial and extraordinary nature are or
will be required to execute the request, the Parties and their
designated representatives shall consult to determine the ter-
ms and conditions under which the request will be executed as
well as the manner in which the costs shall be borne.
3.Any payments under this Agreement shall be transmitted between
1.The Customs Administrations shall:
a.communicate directly for the purpose of dealing with matters
arising out of this Agreement;
b.after consultation, issue any administrative directives nec-
essary for the implementation of this Agreement; and
c.endeavor by mutual accord to resolve problems or questions
arising from the interpretation or application of the Agree-
2.Conflicts for which no solutions can be found shall be referr-
ed to the Parties.
This Agreement shall be applicable to the Customs territories of
both Parties as defined in the legal and administrative provisi-
ons of the territory represented by each Party.
1.This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of signature
2.Either Party may terminate this Agreement at any time by noti-
fication to the other Party. The termination shall take effe-
ct three months from the date of notification of termination
to the other Party. Ongoing proceedings at the time of termi-
nation shall nonetheless be completed in accordance with the
provisions of this Agreement.
3.The Parties and their designated representatives shall meet in
order to review this Agreement as necessary, or at the end of
five years from its entry into force, unless they notify one
another in writing that no review is necessary.
DONE at Washington, in duplicate, this seventeenth day of Janua-
ry 2000, in the English language.


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