WCO SAFE Package

WCO tools to secure and facilitate global trade

In June 2005 the WCO Council adopted the SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE Framework) that would act as a deterrent to international terrorism, secure revenue collections and promote trade facilitation worldwide. In 2007, the WCO’s flagship Customs-Business partnership programme - the Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) Programme - was introduced.

The SAFE Framework has emerged as the global Customs community’s concerted response to threats to the supply chain security, equally supporting facilitation of legitimate and secure businesses. It prescribes baseline standards that have been tested and are working well around the globe. This unique international instrument endeavors to usher a safer world trade regime and also heralds a new approach to working methods and partnership for both Customs and business towards a common goal based on trust.

The Framework has been regularly updated to effectively address new and emerging developments in the international supply chain. Notable additions were provisions on AEO Programme, Coordinated Border Management and Trade Continuity and Resumption, Pillar 3 (Customs-to-Other Government and Inter-Government Agencies), and Pre-loading Advance Cargo Information (ACI) for air cargo.

The latest 2018 edition of the SAFE Framework of Standards augments the objectives of the SAFE Framework with respect to strengthening cooperation between and among Customs administrations, for example through the exchange of information, mutual recognition of controls, mutual recognition of Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs), and mutual administrative assistance. In addition, it calls for enhanced Customs cooperation with government agencies entrusted with regulatory authority over certain goods (e.g., weapons, hazardous materials) and passengers, as well as with entities responsible for postal issues. The Framework now also includes a comprehensive list of AEO benefits with certain minimum assured benefits.

The updated SAFE Framework offers new opportunities for Customs, relevant government agencies and economic operators to work towards a common goal of enhancing supply chain security and efficiency, based on mutual trust and transparency.

To further support implementation, the WCO SAFE Working Group and other WCO bodies, along with the Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG) and other stakeholders, have been developing a number of instruments and guidelines. In order to bring together this important body of material in one convenient place, the WCO compiled a SAFE Package which incorporates all these instruments and guidelines.

The SAFE Package 2018 includes, among other things, a number of new and updated tools such as the AEO Validator Guide; the Mutual Recognition Arrangement/Agreement (MRA) Strategy Guide; the updated AEO Template; the MRA Implementation Guidance; the Advance Cargo Information (ACI) Implementation Guidance; the updated Integrated Supply Chain Management Guidelines; the Recommendation and Guidelines on Trader Identification Number (TIN); and the Handbook on Data Analysis; and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on linkages between the SAFE AEO Programme and Article 7.7 of the WTO TFA.

The WCO Secretariat hopes that Members of the Organization and its partners from the business community and other international organizations will find the SAFE Package and its contents a valuable aid both in understanding the dynamics of this major WCO instrument and in its global application and implementation.


Table of Contents

I. SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade - 2018 edition [*ar - 2018 edition] [*es 2018 edition] [*ru 2012 edition]

II. Instruments and guidelines relating to the first pillar (Customs-to-Customs)

III. Instruments and guidelines relating to the second pillar (Customs-to-Business and Authorized Economic Operator)

IV. Instruments and guidelines relating to the third pillar (Cooperation between Customs and other Government and Inter-Government agencies)

V. Trade Recovery Guidelines [es] [ru]


VI. Others tools of interest for the implementation of the SAFE FoS


Cover: download here.


  • To UPDATE information on the respective Members AEO - MRA and Customs Compliance programs for the AEO Compendium, 2021 edition, please download this AEO Compendium (word version, Members only). On this version, please UPDATE in TRACK CHANGE and submit it to the WCO by email at phuntsho.dorji@wcoomd.org / hong.nguyen@wcoomd.org.
  • To input or provide NEW information on AEO – MRA and Customs Compliance programs that have been implemented/operationalized OR are under negotiation/implementation phase for the AEO Compendium, 2021 edition, please send an email request at phuntsho.dorji@wcoomd.org / hong.nguyen@wcoomd.org.

* This translation has been provided by the Regional Office for Capacity Building for the North of Africa, Near and Middle East Region

* Text translated into Spanish from the original English and French versions of the SAFE Framework of Standards- 2012, with the kind collaboration of Argentina’s Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos (AFIP).

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