The EU and the US agreed to mutually recognise each others’ “secure traders” programmes.
The EU’s authorised economic operators’ programme, and its US equivalent, allow security certified operators to benefit from quicker and simpler customs procedures. The mutual recognition decision will bring huge benefits for certified businesses and traders, when it will become operational in June 2012, in terms of reduced costs and time delays, less red tape, greater ease and predictability in the movement of their goods, and new trade opportunities. It will also allow customs on both sides of the Atlantic to focus their resources on real risks, thereby ensuring greater supply chain security.
The uptake of AEO status seems to be gathering some momentum in the UK, primarily driven by:
• The new requirements for documentation and controls (similar to AEO customs only requirements)
• Senior Accounting Officer provisions for £200m plus turn-over companies that requiring the establishing and maintaining of robust tax systems (including duty). Failure to comply exposes the nominated officer (usually the FD) to personal fines
• Freight forwarders using the certification as a quality kite mark
Mutual recognition with the US adds to the potential advantages in adopting AEO. The obvious business case for AEO will kick in on implementation of the new Modernised Customs Code (MCC), originally scheduled for June 2013 but likely to be postponed until 2015. Businesses can reap an immediate benefit of preparing for AEO now as the process highlights cost cutting opportunities, potential reclaims and compliance risks.
Contact us if you would like further information on preparing for AEO accreditation.