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  • Overview

    The TFA requires Members to adopt or maintain procedures allowing for the submission of import documentation prior to the arrival of goods. Members are also required, as appropriate, to allow electronic lodgement of such documents.

    The RKC covers prior lodgement and registration of the goods declaration. The relevant RKC standard provides for an advanced lodgment procedure that strikes a balance between the interests of traders and the actions of Customs.

    The following WCO tools are also useful for the implementation of the TFA :

    • SAFE Framework of Standards
    • Immediate Release Guidelines

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    WTO TFA

    1.1. Each Member shall adopt or maintain procedures allowing for the submission of import documentation and other required information, including manifests, in order to begin processing prior to the arrival of goods with a view to expediting the release of goods upon arrival.

    1.2. Each Member shall, as appropriate, provide for advance lodging of documents in electronic format for pre-arrival processing of such documents.

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    Revised kyoto convention

    General Annex - Chapter 3 (Clearance and other Customs Formalities)

    Standard 3.25 of the General Annex to the Revised Kyoto Convention covers prior lodgement and registration of the goods declaration.  This Standard provides for an advanced lodgement procedure that strikes a balance between the interests of traders and the actions of Customs. Customs can process the information that is provided in advance and make their determination as to whether they need to examine the goods. If not, the goods can be released upon arrival. While this procedure enables the trading community to dispose of the goods as soon as possible, it also allows Customs to spread their workload. It is a facilitation measure that reduces storage costs for importers and exporters and gives them more time to organize their post-clearance operations.

    3.25. Standard
    National legislation shall make provision for the lodging and registering or checking of the Goods declaration and supporting documents prior to the arrival of the goods.

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex  - Chapter 3  (download)

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    Other WCO Tools

    SAFE Framework of Standards (download)

    The Technical Specifications for Standards Implementation for Standard 1 (Integrated Supply Chain Management) set out detailed procedures on the submission of data, including the import/export goods declaration, cargo declaration and associated time limits.

    Immediate Release Guidelines (download)

    The Guidelines operate on the principle of information being provided by the operator to Customs in advance of the arrival of the goods.  They provide for the categorization of goods.  They also identify a set of data that must be provided in order for the release of the goods under these categories to be granted, as well as the procedures to be followed.

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    Members Practices

    Pre-arrival Examination System (Japan) (download)

    Advance Filing Rules on Maritime Container Cargo Information (Japan) (download)

    Pre-Load Air Cargo Targeting (PACT) Pilot (Canada) (SAFE Working Group, October 2013) (download)

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    Performance Indicators

    Yes/No Question

    • Do you allow the submission of Customs import declarations prior to the arrival of goods?

    Quantitative indicators

    • % of pre-arrival declarations relative to all Customs import declarations

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  • Overview

    The TFA asks Members to adopt or maintain procedures that allow the electronic payment of duties and taxes collected by Customs. The RKC requires the application of information technology to support Customs operations.

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    WTO TFA

    Each Member shall, to the extent practicable, adopt or maintain procedures allowing the option of electronic payment for duties, taxes, fees and charges collected by customs incurred upon importation and exportation.

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    Revised kyoto convention

    General Annex – Chapter 7 (Application of Information Technology)

    Standard 7.1 of the General Annex to the Revised Kyoto Convention requires the application of information technology to support Customs operations.  The ICT Guidelines provide more detailed and technical information.

    7.1. Standard

    The Customs shall apply information technology to support Customs operations, where it is cost-effective and efficient for the Customs and for the trade. The Customs shall specify the conditions for its application.

    ICT Guidelines  (download)

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    Other WCO Tools

    Members Practices

    ICEGATE (E-payment gateway) (India) (download)

    Electronic payment system (Chile) (download)

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    Performance Indicators

    Yes/No Question

    • Do you have a system and procedures to allow the electronic payment of duties?

    Quantitative indicators

    • % of electronic payment relative to the total amount of duties collected

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  • Overview

    The TFA requests Members to adopt or maintain procedures allowing the release of goods prior to the final determination of customs duties, taxes, fees and charges.  The TFA contains provision relating to guarantees to ensure the payment of customs duties, taxes, fees and charges.

    The Revised Kyoto Convention allows for the early release of goods with a provisional or incomplete declaration and documentation.  Chapter 5 of the RKC General Annex sets out basic principles relating to the security required by Customs administrations.

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    WTO TFA

    3.1. Each Member shall adopt or maintain procedures allowing the release of goods prior to the final determination of customs duties, taxes, fees and charges, if such a determination is not done prior to, or upon arrival, or as rapidly as possible after arrival and provided that all other regulatory requirements have been met.

    3.2. As a condition for such release, a Member may require:

        (a)    payment of customs duties, taxes, fees, and charges determined prior to or upon arrival of goods and a guarantee for any amount not yet determined in the form of a surety, a deposit, or another appropriate instrument provided for in its laws and regulations; or

        (b)    a guarantee in the form of a surety, a deposit, or another appropriate instrument provided for in its laws and regulations.

    3.3. Such guarantee shall not be greater than the amount the Member requires to ensure payment of customs duties, taxes, fees and charges ultimately due for the goods covered by the guarantee.

    3.4. In cases where an offence requiring imposition of monetary penalties or fines has been detected, a guarantee may be required for the penalties and fines that may be imposed.

    3.5. The guarantee as set out in paragraphs 3.2 and 3.4 shall be discharged when it is no longer required.

    3.6. Nothing in these provisions shall affect the right of a Member to examine, detain, seize or confiscate or deal with the goods in any manner not otherwise inconsistent with the Member's WTO rights and obligations.

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    Revised kyoto convention

    General Annex - Chapter 3 (Clearance and other Customs Formalities)

    Release of the goods must not be delayed solely due to the fact that Customs is not in possession of a complete Goods declaration, provided that information on the nature and value of the goods is available, or that Customs is satisfied that this information will be given and all the obligations fulfilled. In this regard, Standards 3.13, 3.14, 3.17 and 3.41 of the General Annex to the Revised Kyoto Convention allow for the early release of goods with a provisional or incomplete declaration and documentation.

    3.13. Standard

    Where, for reasons deemed valid by the Customs, the declarant does not have all the information required to make the Goods declaration, a provisional or incomplete Goods declaration shall be allowed to be lodged, provided that it contains the particulars deemed necessary by the Customs and that the declarant undertakes to complete it within a specified period.

    3.14. Standard

    If the Customs register a provisional or incomplete Goods declaration, the tariff treatment to be accorded to the goods shall not be different from that which would have been accorded had a complete and correct Goods declaration been lodged in the first instance.
    The release of the goods shall not be delayed provided that any security required has been furnished to ensure collection of any applicable duties and taxes.

    3.17. Standard

    Where certain supporting documents cannot be lodged with the Goods declaration for reasons deemed valid by the Customs, they shall allow production of those documents within a specified period.

    3.40. Standard

    Goods declared shall be released as soon as the Customs have examined them or decided not to examine them, provided that :

    • no offence has been found;
    • the import or export licence or any other documents required have been acquired;
    • all permits relating to the procedure concerned have been acquired; and
    • any duties and taxes have been paid or that appropriate action has been taken to ensure their collection.

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex  - Chapter 3  (download)

     

    General Annex - Chapter 4 (Duties and Taxes)

    Chapter 4 of the General Annex provides a framework for the collection and payment (including deferred payment), and repayment of duties and taxes. Standard 4.9 concerns payment after the release of the goods.

    4.9. Standard

    When national legislation specifies that the due date may be after the release of the goods, that date shall be at least ten days after the release. No interest shall be charged for the period between the date of release and the due date.

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex  - Chapter 4  (download)

     

    General Annex - Chapter 5 (Security)

    Security or collateral is frequently required by the Customs to ensure that the declarant discharges any obligations undertaken to Customs.  The primary aim of security is to secure the payment of duties and taxes. In other instances security may also be required to secure the fulfilment of any other obligations the declarant or operator may have in regard to a Customs procedure or practice or any other requirements that may be specified by Customs.  Chapter 5 of the General Annex sets out the basic principles relating to security required by Customs.

    5.1. Standard

    National legislation shall enumerate the cases in which security is required and shall specify the forms in which security is to be provided.

    5.2. Standard

    The Customs shall determine the amount of security.

    5.3. Standard

    Any person required to provide security shall be allowed to choose any form of security provided that it is acceptable to the Customs.

    5.4. Standard

    Where national legislation provides, the Customs shall not require security when they are satisfied that an obligation to the Customs will be fulfilled.

    5.5. Standard

    When security is required to ensure that the obligations arising from a Customs procedure will be fulfilled, the Customs shall accept a general security, in particular from declarants who regularly declare goods at different offices in the Customs territory.

    5.6. Standard

    Where security is required, the amount of security to be provided shall be as low as possible and, in respect of the payment of duties and taxes, shall not exceed the amount potentially chargeable.

    5.7. Standard

    Where security has been furnished, it shall be discharged as soon as possible after the Customs are satisfied that the obligations under which the security was required have been duly fulfilled.

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex  - Chapter 5  (download)

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    Other WCO Tools

    SAFE Framework of Standards (download)

    The SAFE Framework of Standards harmonizes the advance electronic cargo information requirements for inbound, outbound and transit shipments.

    Immediate Release Guidelines (download)

    The Guidelines operate on the principle of information being provided by the operator to Customs in advance of the arrival of the goods.  They provide for the categorization of goods.  They also identify a set of data that must be provided in order for the release of the goods under these categories to be granted, as well as the procedures to be followed.

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    Members Practices

    Differed Payment Scheme (New Zealand) (download)

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    Performance Indicators

    Yes/No Question

    • Do you adopt or maintain procedures allowing the release of goods prior to the payment of duties?

    Quantitative indicators

    • % of Customs import declarations permitted for release of goods prior to the payment of duties, relative to all Customs import declarations

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  • Overview

    The TFA obliges Members, to the extent possible, to adopt or maintain a risk management system for Customs control.

    The RKC sets out the principles of Customs risk management, and the RKC Guidelines cover the technical aspects of risk management and Customs control. The Risk Management Compendium introduces detailed and technical information on risk management, based on the practices and experiences of WCO Members.

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    WTO TFA

    4.1. Each Member shall, to the extent possible, adopt or maintain a risk management system for customs control.

    4.2. Each Member shall design and apply risk management in a manner as to avoid arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination, or a disguised restriction on international trade.

    4.3. Each Member shall concentrate customs control and, to the extent possible other relevant border controls, on high-risk consignments and expedite the release of low-risk consignments. A Member also may select, on a random basis, consignments for such controls as part of its risk management.

    4.4. Each Member shall base risk management on an assessment of risk through appropriate selectivity criteria. Such selectivity criteria may include, inter alia, the Harmonized System code, nature and description of the goods, country of origin, country from which the goods were shipped, value of the goods, compliance record of traders, and type of means of transport.

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    Revised kyoto convention

    General Annex - Chapter 6 (Customs Control)

    Standards 6.3 to 6.5 of the General Annex to the Revised Kyoto Convention set out the principles of Customs risk management.  The Guidelines to these standards cover many aspects of risk management, including control methods, supporting infrastructure and examples of a Customs control process.

    6.3. Standard

    In the application of Customs control, the Customs shall use risk management.

    6.4. Standard

    The Customs shall use risk analysis to determine which persons and which goods, including means of transport, should be examined and the extent of the examination.

    6.5. Standard

    The Customs shall adopt a compliance measurement strategy to support risk management.

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex  - Chapter 6  (download)

    Annex to the RKC Guidelines – Chapter 6 (download)

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    Other WCO Tools

    Risk Management Compendium

    The Compendium deals with the systematic application of management procedures and practices which provide Customs with the information needed to address movements or consignments which present a risk.

    (Volume 2 is available on the WCO Members’ Website)

    SAFE Framework of Standards (download)

    Risk management is a core element of SAFE.  Each country that joins the SAFE Framework commits to employing a consistent risk management approach to address security threats.

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    Members Practices

    Risk Management in Malawi (download)

    Turkey strengthens its Customs risk management system (WCO News, June 2013) (download)

    Managing risk in practice: South Africa shares her experience (WCO News, June 2010) (download)

    Joint risk analysis on cross-border traffic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) (WCO News, June 2010) (download)

    Progress on applying risk analysis to core processes (Mexico) (WCO News, June 2010) (download)

    Annex 5 to the Volume 1 of Risk Management Compendium

    Annex 5 to the Volume 1 of Risk Management Compendium includes the following case studies.

    • Argentina: “Risk management in the Argentina Customs”
    • Jamaica: “From traditional to risk-based control approach”
    • Japan: “Example of benefits of risk management”
    • Kenya: “Organization of the risk management function”
    • Korea: “Integrated Risk Management System”
    • Mauritius: “Using Risk Assessment and profiling to select for examination of textile fabrics having undergone some working such as hemming or formation of necklines.”
    • United States: “Risk-based, layered approach to supply chain security”

    (The Annex 5 is available from the WCO’s online bookshop.)

     

    Customs risk management (CRiM): A Survey of 24 WCO Member Administrations

    (The Survey is available at the WCO Members’ website only)

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    Performance Indicators

    Yes/No Question

    • Do you adopt or maintain a risk management system for Customs control?

    Quantitative indicators

    • % of Customs import declarations directed for documentary examination
    • % of Customs import declarations directed for physical inspections

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  • Overview

    The TFA obliges Members, to the extent possible, to adopt or maintain post- clearance audits to expedite the release of goods and ensure compliance with relevant provisions.

    The RKC sets out principles of Customs controls including audit-based controls and the RKC Guidelines cover technical aspects of post-clearance audits. The WCO Post-Clearance Audit (PCA) Guidelines introduce detailed and technical information on PCA, including practical guidance for the implementation of its process.

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    WTO TFA

    5.1. With a view to expediting the release of goods, each Member shall adopt or maintain post- clearance audit to ensure compliance with customs and other related laws and regulations.

    5.2. Each Member shall select a person or a consignment for post-clearance audit in a risk-based manner, which may include appropriate selectivity criteria. Each Member shall conduct post- clearance audits in a transparent manner. Where the person is involved in the audit process and conclusive results have been achieved the Member shall, without delay, notify the person whose record is audited of the results, the person's rights and obligations, and the reasons for the results.

    5.3. The information obtained in post-clearance audit may be used in further administrative or judicial proceedings.

    5.4. Members shall, wherever practicable, use the result of post-clearance audit in applying risk management.

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    Revised kyoto convention

    General Annex - Chapter 6 (Customs Control)

    To manage the worldwide increase in trade and to provide traders with greater facilitation, Customs increasingly rely on audit-based controls, using traders’ commercial systems. These controls may vary from a simple post-clearance audit to trader self-assessment.  Standard 6.6 of the General Annex to the Revised Kyoto Convention concerns the principle of audit-based control.  The Guidelines to Chapter 6 include details of post-clearance audit and trader self-assessment.

    6.6. Standard

    Customs control systems shall include audit-based controls.

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex  - Chapter 6  (download)

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    Other WCO Tools

    Post-Clearance Audit Guidelines

    The Guidelines are designed to assist with the development and administration of a PCA programme, as well as providing practical guidance on the operational aspects of PCA to auditing officials.

    (Volume 2 is available on the WCO Members’ Website)

    Diagnostic Tool on Post Clearance Audit (PCA) and Infrastructure

    This Diagnostic Tool has been designed to assist managers and senior officials in Customs administrations, as well as external diagnosticians, in respect of the identification, design, implementation and evaluation of appropriate capacity building projects on Post Clearance Audit.

    (The Diagnostic Tool is available on the WCO Members’ Website)

    Implementation Guidance on Post-Clearance Audit

    This Guidance is intended to support those Members that are seeking to embark on reform initiatives within the framework of existing resources, towards the introduction/enhanced conduct of PCA in their respective administrations. The role of the Guidance is to supplement the existing tools, so that Member administrations can gradually modernize their practices.

    (Implementation Guidance on PCA is available on the WCO Members’ Website)

    SAFE Framework of Standards (download)

    Risk management is a core element of SAFE.  Each country that joins the SAFE Framework commits to employing a consistent risk management approach to address security threats.

    Risk Management Compendium

    In every Customs operation Risk Management is a basic concept and PCA is not an exception. The Compendium deals with the systematic application of management procedures and practices which provide Customs with the necessary information to address movements or consignments which present a risk.

    (Volume 2 is available on the WCO Members’ Website)

    WCO Guidelines for Post-Clearance Audit (download)

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    Members Practices

    Post Clearance Audit Project for Oceania Customs Organisation (download)

    Post-Clearance Audit Guidelines (Volume 2)

    The case studies of Romania, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Thailand Peru and Turkey on post-clearance audit are attached to the Post-Clearance Audit Guidelines (Volume 2).

    (Volume 2 is available on the WCO Members’ Website)

    Implementation Guidance on Post-Clearance Audit

    The Guidance is full of Members’ practices.  It provides legal provisions relating to PCA, Organisational structures, Training curriculum, Targeting methods and data analysis.

    (Implementation Guidance on PCA is available on the WCO Members’ Website)

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    Performance Indicators

    Yes/No Question

    • Do you have a post-clearance audit system?

    Quantitative indicators

    • No. of post-clearance audits conducted per year

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  • Overview

    The TFA encourages Members to measure and publish their average release times.  The WCO Time Release Study (TRS) is referred to explicitly in the TFA.  The TRS is a unique tool and method for measuring the actual performance of Customs activities as they directly relate to trade facilitation at the border.

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    WTO TFA

    6.1. Members are encouraged to measure and publish their average release time of goods periodically and in a consistent manner, using tools such as, inter alia, the Time Release Study of the World Customs Organization (referred to in this Agreement as the "WCO").6

    6.2. Members  are  encouraged  to  share  with  the  Committee  their  experiences  in  measuring average release times, including methodologies used, bottlenecks identified, and any resulting effects on efficiency.


    6 Each Member may determine the scope and methodology of such average release time measurement in accordance with its needs and capacity.

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    Revised kyoto convention

    Other WCO Tools

    TRS Guide (Guide to Measure the Time Required for the Release of Goods) (download)

    The TRS Guide provides guidance on how to carry out a study to review border procedures, measuring the average time taken between the arrival of the goods and their release.

    Customs International Benchmarking  Manual (download)

    Guidance to Customs for improving their efficiency and effectiveness by comparing procedures or processes with the same or similar procedures or processes carried out by others.  This would then assist Customs in identifying and implementing best practice.

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    Members Practices

    The following case studies on the Time Release Survey are appended to the TRS Guide (Appendix 8).

    Member

    Case Study

    Australia

    Using TRS to strengthen Customs-Business Partnerships

    Cameroon

    TRS as a way to identify main structural bottlenecks and the behavioral patterns  in a port

    Japan

    The TRS as a performance tool for Trade Facilitation Measures

    Korea

    The TRS Methodology using Customs Automated System

    New Zealand

    Application of the WCO TRS Guide in exportation

    Serbia

    The TRS Implementation

    Uganda

    TRS Experience of a Developing and Land Locked Country

    Publishing TRS results in the public domain: Poland’s positive experience (download)

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    Performance Indicators

    Yes/No Question

    • Do you conduct a Time Release Study (TRS)?

    Quantitative indicators

    • Average Customs clearance time for import/export/transit

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  • Overview

    Article 7.7 (Trade Facilitation Measures for Authorized Operators) of the TFA sets out very specific trade facilitation measures to be provided for ‘Authorized Operators’ who meet specified criteria, which may include: appropriate record of compliance with customs and other related laws and regulations; system of managing records for necessary internal control; financial solvency; and supply chain security.

    Standard 3.32 of the General Annex to the Revised Kyoto Convention concerns the principle of special procedures for Authorized Persons.  The RKC Guidelines to this standard provide details of types of special procedures for such persons, as well as the authorization method.

    Pillar Two of the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards provides global standards for launching and maintaining an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme.  Eligibility criteria for an AEO should include: demonstrated compliance record; satisfactory system for management of commercial records; financial viability; and security (cargo, transport conveyance, premises, personnel and trade partner security).

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    WTO TFA

    7.1. Each Member shall provide additional trade facilitation measures related to import, export or transit formalities and procedures, pursuant to paragraph 7.3, to operators who meet specified criteria, hereinafter called authorized operators. Alternatively, a Member may offer such trade facilitation measures through customs procedures generally available to all operators and is not required to establish a separate scheme.

    7.2. The specified criteria to qualify as an authorized operator shall be related to compliance, or the risk of non-compliance, with requirements specified in a Member's laws, regulations or procedures.

    a. Such criteria, which shall be published, may include

        (i)     an  appropriate  record  of  compliance  with  customs  and  other  related  laws  and regulations;

        (ii)    a system of managing records to allow for necessary internal controls;

        (iii)    financial solvency, including, where appropriate, provision of a sufficient security/guarantee; and

        (iv)    supply chain security

    b. Such criteria shall not:

        (i)    be designed or applied so as to afford or create arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between operators where the same conditions prevail; and

        (ii)    to the extent possible, restrict the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises.

    7.3. The trade facilitation measures provided pursuant to paragraph 7.1 shall include at least three of the following measures: 7

        (a)    low documentary and data requirements as appropriate;

        (b)    low rate of physical inspections and examinations as appropriate;

        (c)    rapid release time as appropriate;

        (d)    deferred payment of duties, taxes, fees and charges;

        (e)    use of comprehensive guarantees or reduced guarantees;

        (f)    a single customs declaration for all imports or exports in a given period; and

        (g)    clearance  of  goods  at  the  premises  of  the  authorized  operator  or  another  place authorized by customs.

    7.4. Members  are  encouraged  to  develop  authorized  operator  schemes  on  the  basis  of international standards, where such standards exist, except when such standards would be an inappropriate or ineffective means for the fulfilment of the legitimate objectives pursued.

    7.5. In order to enhance the trade facilitation measures provided to operators, Members shall afford to other Members the possibility of negotiating mutual recognition of authorized operator schemes.

    7.6. Members shall exchange relevant information within the Committee about authorized operator schemes in force.


    7 A measure listed in sub-paragraphs 7.3(a) to (g). will be deemed to be provided to authorized operators if it is generally available to all operators.

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    Revised kyoto convention

    General Annex - Chapter 3 (Clearance and other Customs Formalities)

    The Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) General Annex sets out, in Transitional Standard 3.32 special procedures for ‘authorized persons’, being natural or legal persons who meet criteria specified by the Customs, including having an appropriate record of compliance with Customs requirements and a satisfactory system for managing their commercial records.

    3.32. Transitional Standard

    For authorized persons who meet criteria specified by the Customs, including having an appropriate record of compliance with Customs requirements and a satisfactory system for managing their commercial records, the Customs shall provide for :

    • release of the goods on the provision of the minimum information necessary to identify the goods and permit the subsequent completion of the final Goods declaration;
    • clearance of the goods at the declarant's premises or another place authorized by the Customs;

    and, in addition, to the extent possible, other special procedures such as :

    • allowing a single Goods declaration for all imports or exports in a given period where goods are imported or exported frequently by the same person;
    • use of the authorized persons’ commercial records to self-assess their duty and tax liability and, where appropriate, to ensure compliance with other Customs requirements;
    • allowing the lodgement of the Goods declaration by means of an entry in the records of the authorized person to be supported subsequently by a supplementary Goods declaration

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex  - Chapter 3  (download)

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    Other WCO Tools

    SAFE Framework of Standards (download)

    The SAFE Framework principally incorporated into its text detailed provisions on the conditions and requirements for Customs and Authorized Economic Operators (AEO), initially developed in a separate document.  This addition was driven by the perception that both Customs and its business partners would benefit from having all SAFE and AEO provisions readily available in a single comprehensive instrument.

    SAFE Package

    The Package includes various tools relating to AEO including AEO Implementation Guidance, the AEO Compendium and Model AEO Appeal Procedures.

    • AEO Implementation Guidance (download)
    • AEO Compendium (download)
    • Model AEO Appeal Procedures (download)
    • AEO Benefits: Contribution from the WCO Private Sector Consultative Group (download)
    • The Authorized Economic Operator and the Small and Medium Enterprise (FAQ) (download)
    • Strategy Guide for AEO Mutual Recognition (download)
    • AEO Template (download)

    Authorized Operators Scheme (download)

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    Members Practices

    AEO Compendium (download)

    The AEO Compendium includes information on 41 different programmes divided into three types: operational AEO programmes, AEO programmes to be launched, and Customs compliance programmes. Besides providing this basic information, the Compendium also includes a summary of the AEO programme accreditation procedures and benefits.

    Dubai Customs launches the UAE’s innovative AEO programme (WCO news, October 2016)  (download)

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    Performance Indicators

    Yes/No Question

    • Do you adopt or maintain an AEO programme/compliance programmes?

    Quantitative indicators

    • No. of companies joining  your AEO programme/compliance programme

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  • Overview

    The TFA requires Members to establish facilitative procedures to allow expedited release of at least goods entered through air cargo facilities. Facilitative measures include minimizing the documentation required, releasing expedited shipments as rapidly as possible, providing for a de minimis shipment value or dutiable amount for which Customs duties and taxes will not be collected.

    The WCO Immediate Release Guidelines offer a range of possibilities and solutions enabling each Customs administration to select the level of facilitation best suited to its own trade patterns and compliance requirements.

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    WTO TFA

    8.1. Each Member shall adopt or maintain procedures allowing for the expedited release of at least those goods entered through air cargo facilities to persons who apply for such treatment, while maintaining customs control.8 If a Member employs criteria9 limiting who may apply, the Member may, in published criteria, require that the applicant shall, as conditions for qualifying for the application of the treatment described in paragraph 8.2 to its expedited shipments:

        (a)    provide adequate infrastructure and payment of customs expenses related to processing of expedited shipments, in cases where the applicant fulfils the Member's requirements for such processing to be performed at a dedicated facility;

        (b)    submit in advance of the arrival of an expedited shipment the information necessary for the release;

        (c)    be assessed fees limited in amount to the approximate cost of services rendered in providing the treatment described in paragraph.;

        (d)    maintain a high degree of control over expedited shipments through the use of internal security, logistics, and tracking technology from pick-up to delivery;

        (e)    provide expedited shipment from pick-up to delivery;

        (f)    assume liability for payment of all customs duties, taxes, fees and charges to the customs authority for the goods;

        (g)    have a good record of compliance with customs and other related laws and regulations;

        (h)    comply  with  other  conditions  directly  related  to  the  effective  enforcement  of  the Member's laws, regulations and procedural requirements, that specifically relate to providing the treatment described in paragraph 8.2.

    8.2. Subject to paragraphs 8.1 and 8.3, Members shall:

        (a)     minimize  the  documentation  required  for  the  release  of  expedited  shipments  in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 10 and to the extent possible, provide for release based on a single submission of information on certain shipments;

        (b)     provide for expedited shipments to be released under normal circumstances as rapidly as possible after arrival, provided the information required for release has been submitted;

        (c)     endeavour to apply the treatment in subparagraphs (a) and (b) to shipments of any weight or value recognizing that a Member is permitted to require additional entry procedures, including declarations and supporting documentation and payment of duties and  taxes,  and  to  limit  such  treatment  based  on  the  type  of  good,  provided  the treatment is not limited to low value goods, such as documents; and

        (d)     provide, to the extent possible, for a de minimis shipment value or dutiable amount for which customs duties and taxes will not be collected, aside from certain prescribed goods. Internal taxes, such as value added taxes and excise taxes, applied to imports consistently with Article III of the GATT 1994 are not subject to this provision.

    8.3. Nothing in paragraphs 8.1 and 8.2 shall affect the right of a Member to examine, detain, seize, confiscate or refuse entry of goods, or to carry out post-clearance audits, including in connection with the use of risk management systems. Further, nothing in paragraphs 8.1 and 8.2 shall prevent a Member from requiring, as a condition for release, the submission of additional information and the fulfilment of non-automatic licensing requirements.


    8 In cases where a Member has an existing procedure that provides the treatment in paragraph 8.2, this provision does not require that Member to introduce separate expedited release procedures.
    9 Such application criteria, if any, shall be in addition to the Member's requirements for operating with
    respect to all goods or shipments entered through air cargo facilities.

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    Revised kyoto convention

    General Annex - Chapter 3 (Clearance and other Customs Formalities)

    Chapter 3 of the General Annex to the Revised Kyoto Convention sets a series of standards on the clearance of goods and other Customs formalities.  The Guidelines to the Chapter provide details of such standards, including establishment of Customs offices, rights and responsibilities of the declarant, the Goods declaration, lodgement and registration of the Goods declaration and Customs examination and inspection.

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex  - Chapter 3  (download)

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    Other WCO Tools

    Immediate Release Guidelines (download)

    The Guidelines operate on the principle of information being provided by the operator to Customs in advance of the arrival of the goods.  They provide for the categorization of goods.  They also identify a set of data that is to be provided for granting the release of goods under these categories, as well as the procedures to be followed.

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    Performance Indicators

    Yes/No Question

    • Do you adopt or maintain procedures allowing for expedited release of goods under Article 8.2 of the ATF?

    Quantitative indicators

    • No. of Customs import declarations subject to respective procedures under Article 8.2 of the ATF per year  

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  • Overview

    The TFA requires Members to adopt or maintain procedures for releasing perishable goods within the shortest possible time, to avoid loss or deterioration. The measures applicable to perishable goods include releasing them outside business hours, giving priority to their examination and arranging for their proper storage.

    Standard 3.34 of the General Annex to the Revised Kyoto Convention requires that priority be given to the examination of perishable goods.

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    WTO TFA

    9 Perishable Goods10

    9.1. With a view to preventing avoidable loss or deterioration of perishable goods, and provided that all regulatory requirements have been met, each Member shall:

        (a)     provide for the release of perishable goods under normal circumstances within the shortest possible time; and

        (b)     in exceptional circumstances where it would be appropriate to do so, outside the business hours of customs and other relevant authorities.

    9.2. Each Member shall give appropriate priority to perishable goods when scheduling any examinations that may be required.

    9.3. Each Member shall either arrange, or allow an importer to arrange, for the proper storage of perishable goods pending their release. The Member may require that any storage facilities arranged by the importer have been approved or designated by its relevant authorities. The movement of the goods to those storage facilities, including authorizations for the operator moving the goods, may be subject to the approval, where required, of the relevant authorities. The Member shall, where practicable and consistent with domestic legislation, upon the request of the importer, provide for any procedures necessary for release to take place at those storage facilities.

    9.4. In cases of significant delay in the release of perishable goods, and upon written request, the importing Member shall, to the extent practicable, provide a communication on the reasons for the delay.


    10 For the purposes of this provision, perishable goods are goods that rapidly decay due to their natural characteristics, in particular in the absence of appropriate storage conditions.

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    Revised kyoto convention

    General Annex - Chapter 3 (Clearance and other Customs Formalities)

    Certain goods because of their nature need to be conveyed rapidly from the point of origin to their final destination and thus require the completion of Customs formalities with a minimum of delay. Standard 3.34 requires that for such urgently required goods, including live animals and perishable goods, Customs must examine them without delay in order to avoid loss or deterioration of the goods.

    3.34. Standard

    When scheduling examinations, priority shall be given to the examination of live animals and perishable goods and to other goods which the Customs accept are urgently required.

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex  - Chapter 3  (download)

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    Other WCO Tools

    Members Practices

    Work in progress

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    Performance Indicators

    Yes/No Question

    • Do you give priority to perishable goods when scheduling examinations?

    Quantitative indicators

    • No. of Customs import declarations of perishable goods prioritized in examinations

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