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Cameroon Customs commits to implementing an AEO Programme

08 agosto 2019

At the request of the Customs Administration of Cameroon, and  with the support of the Korea Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF Korea), the WCO conducted a National Workshop on the “Implementation of the AEO Programme – criteria, requirements, validation process and plan of action”. Experts from the WCO and French Customs alike undertook this capacity-building and technical assistance mission from 3 to 7 June 2019 in Douala and Yaoundé, Cameroon.

On the first day, which was devoted to raising stakeholder awareness, the workshop brought together participants from Customs and other government agencies, as well as all stakeholders in international trade. The workshop continued with contributions from some 40 participants from Cameroon Customs, as well as from the Directorate General of Taxation, the Cameroon National Shippers’ Council and the National Trade Facilitation Committee (CONAFE).

The Commission of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) and Cameroon have already drawn up legislative and regulatory provisions on the AEO Programme. The timing of the workshop was therefore highly appropriate inasmuch as the workshop assisted Cameroon Customs and the CONAFE to assess the situation and draft a pilot project by supplying all the information necessary, including the relevant WCO instruments and tools. The workshop was an opportunity to provide participants with recommendations on the key issues concerning implementation of an AEO programme in keeping with the philosophy of the AEO under the WCO’s SAFE Framework.

The experts presented various WCO instruments and tools associated with the SAFE Framework of Standards and the AEO Programme. They supported participants in the preparation for implementation of an AEO programme that is tailored to stakeholder needs and expectations, in particular by identifying the specific advantages for each category of economic operator. The experts also highlighted the criteria, requirements and advantages of the AEOs and tabled recommendations on the process for approving the AEOs, in accordance with the provisions of the SAFE Framework of Standards and based on the European Union’s experience.

The workshop provided the platform for all participants to acquire a greater understanding of the practical aspects of the AEO Programme and Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs). It also served to address the main challenges faced by Customs and the private sector in implementing an AEO programme and to underline the importance of such a programme in enhancing supply chain security, facilitating trade and improving revenue collection, as well as in securing greater compliance with laws and regulations.

The experts and participants actively shared their views on a number of aspects of the AEO programmes and MRAs, in particular on undertakings made and gradual implementation by stakeholders.

The workshop culminated in the drafting of an action plan, and the WCO undertook to provide Cameroon Customs with all necessary support in the procedure for drafting and implementing the AEO Programme.