Workshop on the WCO’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme

18 十一月 2009

21 and 22 September 2009

On 21 and 22 September 2009, the WCO, the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) and the International Trade Administration of the United States Department of Commerce (USDOC) hosted a workshop in St. Lucia for that country’s Customs administration and the private sector. St. Lucia Customs had previously expressed an interest in the development and implementation of an AEO programme to help facilitate trade. The Workshop covered various topics ranging from the current situation around the globe to the responsibilities of Customs and the private sector in today’s world, however the key focus was placed on laying the foundations for an AEO programme. The Workshop resulted in the production of an action plan for implementing such a programme.

Guest speakers included Ms. Gail Dennis White from Jamaican Customs, who gave an extremely insightful and inspirational presentation on her country’s experience of implementing its AEO programme. The main lesson shared by Ms. White was that once her Administration had decided on such a programme, it had moved swiftly to design and develop it. It was worth noting that Jamaican Customs planned to launch its pilot programme in October 2009.

The USDOC presentation on the region’s trade statistics was of particular interest to both Customs and the private sector. Although the private sector expressed a desire to see this programme in place in order to give St. Lucia a competitive edge, it was nevertheless sceptical about Customs’ ability to follow through with its implementation. All things considered, it would provide Customs with any assistance and support required to put such a programme into operation.

The Workshop’s overall goals of giving both Customs and the private sector an insight into developing an AEO programme and helping Customs design a road map for its implementation were achieved. The WCO, CCLEC and USDOC will continue to offer their support and encouragement.