On 05 November the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) released its 5-page document on the “Summary of Outcomes of the “1st Regional Workshop of Accredited Preferred Traders”.
According to the document:
- All SACU Member States have accredited Preferred Traders, respectively.
- The SACU region is renaming the Preferred Trader Programme to an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Compliance Programme.
- In parallel, the SACU Region is developing a Regional AEO Programme which will include Compliance and Security.
- The SACU region will consider different models of when developing the Regional AEO Programme including measurable, meaningful and tangible benefits. It should also include e-commerce and all actively trading sectors.
- The region plans to expedite work to complete the development of the Regional AEO Programme to pave way for implementation.
- The region plans to also expedite mutual recognition arrangements to extend benefits to the regional level.
- The SACU region plans to include Other Government Agencies and Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in the AEO Programme.
- All SACU Member States to meet the same minimum criteria to accredit the Preferred Traders.
The Workshop’s Conclusion:
The SACU region to:
- Follow up with Member States to identify challenges, including where the Preferred Trader Programmes are reported to be dormant. Secretariat to provide the required support to resuscitate the Programmes.
- Improved data exchange between countries, accreditation of exporters to be detailed and enable uploading and submission of digital entries to improve speed of registration process; gate passes to be submitted electronically.
- Expedite the development and implementation of the Regional AEO Programme with Mutual Recognition and commit to timelines
- Ensure appropriate and robust collaboration in the region’s private sector, OAGs, Customs.
- Resuscitate the National and Regional Customs Trade Forum.
- Develop a monitoring tool for implementation of the AEO to track meaningful tangible benefits.
The Workshop document is accessible at:
Story by: Riaan de Lange