On 18 December 2020, the World Customs Organization (WCO) announced the release of its 2020 edition of the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Compendium, offering a concise and structured overview of existing AEO programmes around the world and of Mutual Recognition Arrangements/Agreements (MRAs) signed between Customs administrations.
The Compendium provides a brief summary of each AEO programme, comprising information on accreditation criteria, procedures and expected benefits, as well as associated MRAs. AEO programmes and MRAs that are in the pipeline are also listed in the Compendium. Overall, it has four parts dealing with AEO programmes based on the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards (Part I), Customs Compliance programmes implemented and under development by Customs administrations (Part II), Mutual Recognition Agreements/Arrangements of AEO programmes (Part III), and an Appendix containing a summary of information on the various parts covered in the body of the Compendium (Part IV).
Based on the information provided by members for 2020, the updated edition of the AEO Compendium identifies, among others, the following:
- 97 operational AEO programmes and 20 AEO programmes under development.
- 33 operational Customs Compliance programmes and 4 Customs Compliance programmes due to be launched.
- 87 bilateral and 4 plurilateral/regional MRAs concluded and 78 MRAs under negotiation.
Since the publication of 2019 edition, an additional 14 AEO programmes have been implemented, bringing the total to 97 programmes. The number of bilateral MRAs signed have also increased by 13, bringing the total to 87 as compared to 74 in 2019. Furthermore, MRAs under negotiation now stand at 78 compared to 65 in 2019.
Over the years, the AEO Compendium has become a reference resource for Customs administrations and other key stakeholders, such as the business community, academia, and international organisations who are looking for up-to-date information on existing AEO programmes and MRAs, and related trends and innovations. Going forward, the WCO is exploring ways of updating the Compendium using online tools and platforms.
A copy of the Compendium is available on request.
Story by: Riaan de Lange