To make the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) succeed and implementable, the World Customs Organisation (WCO) has published two key documents – Customs AEO Validator Guide and MRA Strategy Guide.
The two documents, according to WCO, will provide detailed guidance and further support for the implementation of AEO programmes and their complementary Mutual Recognition Arrangements/Agreements (MRAs) in a more effective and harmonized manner globally.
WCO said ”The Customs AEO Validator Guide is primarily intended to build capacities in Customs administrations with regard to the AEO validation process, in particular the validation of security related provisions and management policies. The Guide can also be useful to the private sector in better understanding and preparing for AEO validation, thus contributing to more transparency and predictability in the AEO certification process, leading, in time, to a greater trust between Customs and economic operators. It is also expected that the Guide will contribute towards bringing harmonization to AEO programmes around the world, thus facilitating the negotiation of MRAs.
”The MRA Strategy Guide is aimed at assisting Customs administrations with the development of MRAs, including the negotiation and implementation thereof. The Guide takes a comprehensive strategic approach to MRAs, laying down a clear vision and roadmap with a set of activities to be undertaken to reach the pre-defined goals in terms of planning, negotiating, and implementing MRAs with partner Customs administrations. It sets out some of the key enablers that are required for the successful negotiation and implementation of MRAs, and includes working examples and best practices. In addition, the Guide recommends a regional or plurilateral approach to MRAs as the way forward. This approach would potentially reduce or even eliminate the need to negotiate and implement bilateral MRAs and the associated administrative costs required in such a process.
”Besides developing guidance, the WCO also provides direct technical assistance to support its Members and their stakeholders in their pursuit to strengthen the security of the international trade supply chain while ensuring maximum facilitation for legitimate goods flowing across borders.”