Singapore and Thailand sign an AEO-Mutual Recognition Arrangement

04 July 2018

Singapore’s Director-General of Customs, Mr. Ho Chee Pong, and the Director-General of Thailand’s Customs Department, Mr. Kulit Sombatsiri, signed a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on 29 June 2018 on the sidelines of the 132nd WCO Council Session.

Under this MRA companies certified by Singapore Customs as having robust security practices will enjoy faster clearance for their goods exported to Thailand. Recognised as having lower risks, these companies will benefit from reduced documentary and cargo inspections. Likewise, companies certified by Thailand will enjoy the same level of facilitation for their goods exported to Singapore.

The Singapore-Thailand MRA recognises the compatibility of the supply chain security measures implemented by companies certified under Singapore Customs’ Secure Trade Partnership (STP) programme and the companies accredited under Thailand’s Authorised Economic Operator programme, both based on the WCO SAFE AEO Programme. Signed as an initiative under the Singapore-Thailand Enhanced Economic Relations programme (STEER), the MRA is set to deepen economic collaboration and facilitate bilateral trade growth between Singapore and Thailand.

“The AEO-MRA signing reinforces the strong ties and close cooperation between both our Customs administrations, as well as our commitment to maintain the regional and global supply chain security. It is a significant milestone in economic and Customs cooperation within our region as it would greatly facilitate legitimate trade undertaken by companies under Thailand’s Authorised Economic Operator programme as well as Singapore’s Secure Trade Partnership programme,” said Mr Ho. He added : “The MRA also reaffirms our collective commitment to the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025, particularly in the area of trade facilitation, which is an important engine of growth and development”.

“By promoting Customs-to-Customs cooperation and mutual recognition of our AEOs, we can target high-risk shipments more effectively and expedite customs procedures for low risk shipments, thus benefiting our traders and significantly contributing to trade facilitation,” said Mr Kulit.  He further said : “Our customs administrations have continuously developed close collaboration and strengthened bilateral cooperation in various areas of our mutual interests, including Customs matters. Our cooperation will be even further strengthened by this important milestone”

This is the first MRA of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programmes signed between two ASEAN countries.