WCO-EAC CREATe Project Update: The East African Community officially adopts the Manual of Standard Operating Procedures for the EAC regional AEO programme!

10 May 2016

The WCO-EAC CREATe project, funded by Sweden, held its Steering Committee meeting in the framework of the EAC Committee on Customs on the 28th of April 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. The fact that the project has become a standing agenda point of the EAC Committee on Customs demonstrates that the project has now been fully mainstreamed at the regional level and its progress and status is being reported to the highest authorities in the East African Community.

In October 2015, the EAC Committee on Customs had adopted the revised EAC regional AEO Scheme (Benefits and Criteria), which was reviewed in the framework of the WCO-EAC CREATe project and in consultation with the trading community to reflect the establishment of the EAC Single Customs Territory. In order to implement this new scheme, the WCO-EAC CREATe project was tasked by the Steering Committee Members to develop a manual of standard operating procedures to guide the administration of the regional AEO programme. The manual was developed by the regional AEO experts working group with the support of a WCO AEO Expert in March-April 2016.

At the occasion of the Steering Committee Meeting, this manual was presented to the EAC Committee on Customs Members and officially adopted by the EAC Partner-States and EAC Secretariat. Thanks to this adoption, the roll-out of the EAC regional AEO programme will be facilitated and it is expected that by the end of July 2016, the number of regional AEOs will increase from 13 to 60. Additional economic operators are expected to be added to scheme by the end of the year.

In the next few months, the project will focus a great deal of its attention in supporting the Customs Administrations to intensify their engagement with the trading community and the Cross-Border Regulatory Agencies in efforts to maximize the regional AEO programme’s benefits for the region.

For more information about the WCO-EAC CREATe project, please contact the WCO-Sweden Programme Director, Richard Chopra (Richard.chopra@wcoomd.org)