WCO s technical assistance on SAFE/AEO goes virtual
From 29 June to 2 July, at the request of the State Revenue Committee of Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan Customs) and with support from United States Aid (USAID) Central Asia, the World Customs Organization (WCO) successfully delivered the first virtual “mission” in the area of SAFE/AEO (Authorized Economic Operator). The purpose of this exercise was to support Kazakhstan Customs to study matured AEO programmes while exploring the approach to implementing Article 7.7 of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA), which deals with Authorized Operators (AO).
In the opening session, the WCO Secretariat and Ms.Aliya Jetibayeva, Director of the Methodology Department of the State Revenue Committee, Ministry of Finance of Kazakhstan, shared thoughts about the emerging and evolving situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Providing trade security and facilitation measures for businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, is urgently needed in order to avoid disruption in international trade and sustain business continuity.
The first part of the mission took the form of a webinar for the sharing of information regarding the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards and SAFE Package updates, linkages between the WCO’s AEO programme and the TFA’s AO scheme, AEO minimum criteria, and best practices for AEO and MRA implementation. Kazakhstan Customs took the initiative of inviting other Central Asian Customs Administrations to join the webinar. Representatives from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan shared details of their AEO schemes.
In the second part of the mission, WCO experts and Kazakhstan Customs conducted a gap analysis on the SAFE/AEO Programme Standards as compared to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) AEO legislation. Kazakhstan Customs colleagues had an opportunity to receive recommendations on how to make the current AEO provisions adaptable to the WTO’s TFA requirements for the implementation of the Article 7.7 – AO scheme.