WCO supports Togo Revenue Authority (TRA) in its project to set up an Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) programme

11 April 2022

Against the background of the implementation of the Trade and Logistics Services Competitiveness Project (PACSLC), the WCO provided support to the Togo Revenue Authority (TRA) for the setting up of an Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) programme in line with the SAFE Framework of Standards and Article 7.7 of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

This workshop, funded by the World Bank, was held in Lomé from 28 March to 1 April 2022 and was run by an expert from the WCO.

The workshop was opened by the Commissioner for Customs and Indirect Taxation, who thanked the WCO for its support and emphasized the importance of training for the TRA in the auditing of Authorized Economic Operators.

Over the five days, several information sessions were held on the following topics:

  • Gaining awareness of the SAFE Framework of Standards and the SAFE Package;
  • Learning about the Authorized Economic Operator concept in accordance with the SAFE Framework of Standards;
  • Distinguishing between the WCO’s AEO concept and the other compliance programmes (authorized persons under the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) and authorized operators under the TFA);
  • Acquiring knowledge about the implementation of AEO programmes and the validation procedure;
  • Gaining proficiency in the techniques and being aware of the stages of AEO audits (from the application and self-assessment questionnaire to post-validation).

The Togo Revenue Authority currently operates a programme for compliance with Customs legislation, namely the Privileged Partnership Framework (PPF), which has been in place since 2016 and which now includes six authorized companies.

A comparative study of the PPF programme and the AEO programme was carried out to enable the TRA to analyse the existing gaps between the two programmes, so that an AEO programme could be implemented in accordance with international standards.

Likewise, there was an on-site visit to an authorized company within the PPF programme, with a view to helping the officers on the course to familiarize themselves with the on-site AEO auditing techniques, in particular those concerned with securing the international supply chain.

The workshop resulted in the preparation of an action plan for the implementation of an AEO programme in line with international standards.