WCO supports the Democratic Republic of Congo with the implementation of the Authorized Economic Operator Programme

07 February 2023

The WCO, with the financial support from the Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF) - China, conducted an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programme workshop from 23 to 27 January 2023 in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

The key objective of this mission was to assist the DRC in the establishment and implementation of their AEO programme, which is one of core trade facilitation measures as detailed in Article 7.7 of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and Pillar 2 of the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards. 

WCO Experts carried out the diagnostic mission, which included the analysis of the current national situation concerning the AEO implementation vis-a-vis relevant international standards and global best practices with a view to identifying gaps and providing recommendations on legal framework.

Hands-on training and guidance was provided by WCO Experts for DRC Customs officials, helping them to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively implement their AEO programme. The training covered a wide range of topics, including risk management, post clearance audit, stakeholders engagement and human resource requirements.

At the end of the Workshop, a set of recommendations for effective implementation of an AEO programme were drawn up and a work plan for the implementation of a fully-fledged operational AEO programme was prepared by DRC Customs with the assistance of the WCO Experts.

This mission was a crucial step in strengthening the implementation of the AEO programme in the DRC and DRC Customs officials showed a strong commitment to implementing the AEO programme, starting with the mining sector.

The WCO Experts received positive feedback from the participants and the DRC Customs Administration expressed their gratitude for the support provided. The WCO will continue to provide technical assistance to the DRC Customs Administration to support their initiative going forward.