WCO Supports SAFE and AEO Implementation in the UAE

21 December 2015

(13-15 December 2015, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

At the invitation of the Federal Customs Authority UAE, the WCO conducted a workshop on the preparation of the implementation of the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards (FoS) and an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme in Dubai, from 13 to 15 December 2015. 42 middle and senior ranking officials from Customs administrations of the seven Emirates as well as officials from the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) participated in the workshop.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Suoud Salem AlAgroobi, Director International Relations Department, FCA, thanked the WCO for organizing the workshop and underlined the need for a harmonized implementation of the SAFE FoS and AEO programme among all Emirates.

Based on the current situation in the UAE, the WCO presented detailed information on the importance of supply chain security; the WCO SAFE FoS; Customs-Business partnership; AEO programme requirements, benefits, validation and authorization process; and Mutual Recognition.

Facilitated by WCO Experts, participants actively discussed several issues related to the implementation of an AEO programme at the Federal level, which could potentially be uniformly applied by all seven Emirates. Extensive discussions also took place on the implementation of Article 7.7 of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in line with the SAFE AEO programme.

The workshop led to an enhanced understanding of the SAFE FoS, Customs’ role in supply chain security through partnership with trade and AEO criteria as well as validation and implementation processes. As one of the seven Emirates, Dubai Customs has already come up with a detailed action plan based on the standards and criteria laid down in the SAFE Framework of Standards. It is expected that as a next step, Dubai Customs would launch a pilot AEO programme in March 2016.