Singapore and Australia sign an AEO-Mutual Recognition Arrangement to facilitate trade for certified companies

06 June 2018

Singapore Customs and Australian Border Force (ABF) signed a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programmes on 31 May 2018. Through this arrangement, Singapore companies certified as having lower risks will enjoy faster Customs clearance with reduced documentary and cargo inspections with respect to their goods exported to Australia. Likewise, Australian companies that are certified by Australian Border Force will enjoy similar facilitation for their goods exported to Singapore.

Singapore is the first ASEAN country to sign an MRA with Australia. The Australia-Singapore MRA recognises the compatibility of the supply chain security measures implemented by companies certified under Singapore Customs’ Secure Trade Partnership (STP) programme and the trusted companies of the ABF’s Australian Trusted Trader programme, which are based on the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards.

As an initiative under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, a pact signed by Singapore and Australia in 2015 to deepen existing areas of cooperation and catalyse new ones, the MRA is set to foster closer Customs collaboration and elevate bilateral trade ties.

“The signing of this MRA reinforces the commitment of both our Customs administrations to maintain the security of regional and global supply chains, and to facilitate legitimate trade undertaken by Authorised Economic Operators in both countries,” said Singapore’s Director-General of Customs, Mr Ho Chee Pong. “As major trading partners, I am confident that this new MRA of our respective Authorised Economic Operator programmes will bring about much benefit to our businesses and boost bilateral trade,” he added.

“The signing of the Authorised Economic Operator-MRA will further strengthen our close cooperation at the borders and smoothen the passage of goods between our two countries of trusted traders,” said Comptroller-General of Customs, Mr Michael Outram. He further said : “It will also help us facilitate and support these companies that do the right thing, and help us focus our resources on finding and dealing with companies and people who do not do the right thing.”

Singapore companies which trade actively with Australian companies welcomed the signing of the MRA.

To date, Singapore has signed MRAs with eight Customs administrations: Australia, Canada, Republic of Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong China, Chinese Taipei, and the United States. Australia has MRAs with six Customs administrations: Singapore, China, Hong Kong China, Korea, Canada and New Zealand.