Collaboration for Better Border Coordination: WCO AEO mission to Kenya Revenue Authority and Government Agencies

19 April 2023

The World Customs Organization (WCO), with the financial support from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and their Programme for Sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa, 2020-2024, (WCO Trade Facilitation and Customs Modernization Programme), organized an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) awareness raising mission for the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and its Partner Government Agencies (PGAs). The mission was conducted from 12 to 14 April 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya and aimed to introduce the WCO's AEO programme, including its background, overview, linkage with the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), and core elements of the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards.

The mission began with an opening session where the Deputy Commissioner of KRA introduced the mission team and presented the mission's objectives, remit, approaches, and mutual commitments. Subsequent sessions during the three-day mission covered various topics related to the AEO programme, including the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards, the AEO programme's implementation in Kenya, collaboration with other border agencies, risk management principles, mutual recognition, and the WCO Single Window system.

The WCO AEO experts provided valuable insights into the practical aspects of implementing the AEO programme and the challenges faced by the KRA. Practical exercises with PGAs allowed for the sharing of experiences and potential alignment of different compliance programmes among PGAs. The benefits of the AEO programme from the WCO's perspective were also presented.

The final day of the mission focused on developing the principles of the PGA/KRA mutual recognition arrangement and identifying and proposing a practical mutual recognition framework for KRA AEO programme. The mission ended with the WCO experts presenting their conclusions and recommendations, and the KRA identifying areas where further support may be necessary.

This mission was a valuable opportunity for various PGAs to learn about the AEO programme and its implementation in Kenya. The WCO highlighted the importance of collaboration among different border agencies for better border coordination and trade facilitation efforts. The KRA and its partner government agencies can leverage the insights gained from this mission to enhance compliance and security in international trade.