East African Community AEO Project ready for launch

04 March 2013

At its 9th meeting on the 7th of February 2013 the Steering Committee for the Sida-funded WCO-EAC Regional AEO project met in Bujumbura, Burundi. The meeting, consisting of Heads of Customs, was chaired by Commissioner General Kieran Holmes of the Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR) also saw participation from WCO as the Director Capacity Building, Mr. Erich Kieck, attended the meeting.

The participants were provided with a status and progress report from the Regional Project Manager, Ms. Sheena Namitala, as several steps have been taken to prepare Customs, pilot operators, border posts and other cross border regulatory agencies for the launch of the pilot.

The Steering Committee, having been briefed on the project progress, decided that the time to launch the pilot had come as preparations were considered to be at a more than satisfactory level. Therefore the historic decision was made to launch the first regional AEO-scheme in Africa in the second week of April 2013. Some work still remains but outstanding issues will be solved before the decided date through the National Project Managers and the Technical Experts with the support of the Steering Committee.

This is a great achievement when it comes to Customs – Trade partnership and trade facilitation! WCO is proud to have contributed to this historic event, says Mr. Erich Kieck, Director of the WCO Capacity Building Directorate.