WCO supports Malawi in enhancing its AEO programme

04 diciembre 2019

Under the auspices of the WCO-Finland ESA Regional Project II and the HRMC Mercator Programme, the World Customs Organisation (WCO) conducted an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Validation Training workshop from 25 to 28 November 2019 in Blantyre, Malawi.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Tom Gray Malata, Commissioner General of Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), said that MRA had just finished piloting of an AEO programme that was being implemented in phases. He thanked the WCO for organizing this training for MRA and stakeholders at a crucial time of transitioning to the next phase of the programme.

The workshop brought together participants from MRA, Other Government Agencies and the Private Sector. These included Police, Ministry of Health, Bureau of Standards, and Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services, as well as representatives of the private sector.

Through practical exercises, case studies, global best practices and simulation scenarios, participants were guided through the AEO application, validation, reporting and post-validation processes. The workshop led to enhanced AEO validation capacity in MRA.

A thorough analysis of the current pilot programme was conducted that led to the identification of gaps and corresponding recommendations, which would help MRA with effective implementation of an AEO Programme in line with the relevant provisions of the SAFE Framework of Standards and the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA), in particular Article 7.7.

The first phase of the programme involved seven importers/exporters and the second phase envisages focusing on the accreditation of clearing agents and bonded warehouses, as well as involving other government agencies. Transporters and Freight Forwarders would be covered in the third phase. Finally, the phase four is expected to work towards mutual recognition arrangements/agreements with other countries.

During the mission, the new Customs Act having specific provisions on the AEO programme was enacted after receiving the assent from the President. This has paved a clear pathway for the implementation of the programme in a phased manner by a drawing up an action plan, based on the outcomes of the workshop.