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Expansion of AEO Programme in Colombia

18 septiembre 2015

At the invitation of Mr. Santiago Rojas Arroyo, Director General of Colombia’s National Directorate of Tax and Customs (DIAN), WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya spoke at an AEO Conference held in Bogota, Colombia on 15 September 2015.  The Conference announced the expansion of the existing Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programme in Colombia.

Following an introduction by Mr. Rojas Arroyo, who explained the ongoing efforts by the DIAN to revise the Customs law in order to modernize Customs and provide more trust to trade, Mr. Mikuriya spoke about the current global economic situation and how Customs can contribute to economic competitiveness. 

He said that the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) would ensure connectivity at borders and thereby support regional integration and the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA).  In this connection, he commended Colombia’s efforts to introduce a new Customs law in line with the RKC, and thanked the DIAN for agreeing to host a regional WCO workshop on the TFA next month. 

Noting that security is part of economic competitiveness, WCO Secretary General went on to describe the SAFE Framework of Standards, in which Customs-business partnership, epitomized by the AEO Programme, is one of the core elements of supply chain security and facilitation. 

While recognizing that the Colombian AEO Programme, launched in 2011, is a well-advanced programme that includes cooperation with other government agencies, Mr. Mikuriya supported the introduction of a new version of a Customs-centred AEO Programme in order to increase the number of AEO-certified companies. 

He also suggested that bringing the AEO Programme more into line with those of other countries would facilitate the mutual recognition of AEO Programmes and strengthen the secure supply chain, to the great benefit of AEO-certified companies.

Following a talk by Ms. Mariana Sarasti Montoya, Colombia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, on the trade policy strategy and AEO, a panel discussion with AEO-certified companies emphasized the need to obtain the support of company management for AEO through good communication, in order to initiate cultural changes.  

Next, Ms. Claudia Gaviria Vasquez, Director General of Customs (DIAN), provided details of the new Decree on the AEO Programme and encouraged businesses to join the Programme. 

Mr. Javier Diaz Molina, President of the National Association of Foreign Trade (Analdex), concluded the Conference by highlighting the importance of this new initiative by Customs.

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Photo captions:

From left to right: Javier Diaz Molina, President, Analdex; Mariana Sarasti Montoya, Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade; Santiago Rojas Arroyo, Director General, National Directorate of Tax and Customs (DIAN); Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General; Claudia Gaviria Vasquez, Director of Customs, DIAN; Lieutenant Colonel Jose Miranda,  Anti-Narcotics Police; Rafael Sanmiguel, Deputy Manager, Border Protection, Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA).