WCO Deputy Secretary General participates in a Congress on the AEO Programme

22 noviembre 2021

On 17 November, at the invitation of the Director General of the Colombian Directorate of National Taxes and Customs (DIAN), the WCO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, spoke at the 4th Congress on the AEO Programme on the theme of “10 years of the Authorized Economic Operator Programme in Colombia: achievements and challenges”. The aim of the conference was to consider possible future scenarios and ways in which various initiatives could contribute to the development of a more secure international trade system.

Taking part in the first international panel discussion on “AEO, a tool to promote the security and facilitation of international trade: what challenges lie ahead?”, Mr. Treviño Chapa highlighted that the WCO SAFE Framework of Standard (FoS) had been recently updated and endorsed by the June 2021 Council with the addition of a new core element to promote close cooperation with other governmental agencies representing different regulatory areas, in order to keep societies safe and secure while facilitating the movement of goods. In this light, he added that the WCO, in cooperation with its Members and the Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG), had developed a number of guidelines and tools to support its Members in implementing the updated version of the FoS. The examples he gave included the AEO Implementation and Validation Guidance, the AEO Compendium 2020 Edition and the Guidelines on Regional Customs union AEO programmes and plurilateral MRAs.

The Deputy Secretary General elaborated on the WCO’s contributions to international trade facilitation by stating that, over the past five years, the number of AEO programmes had increased by 40%, while the number of AEO Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) concluded had more than doubled since 2016, including four plurilateral MRAs. While acknowledging the positive trend in the implementation of AEO MRAs, he also noted that many Members still needed to make their AEO programmes more inclusive by extending their scope to other operators in the supply chain, especially SMEs.

He concluded his presentation by indicating that international trade had always played an important role in contributing to countries’ economic and social development. The next few years would be marked by a strong need for all stakeholders in the global economy, including Customs, to work together in order to mitigate the profound impacts of the COVID‑19 crisis. The road to recovery would be long and arduous for businesses in general and SMEs in particular.

The event was opened by the President of the Republic of Colombia, Dr. Iván Duque Márquez, and the panel discussion was moderated by the Director General of DIAN, Dr. Lisandro Junco Riveira. Ms. María Pilar Jurado Borrego, Director of the Customs and Excise Department of the Spanish Tax Agency, Mr. Manuel Garza, Director of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT), Mr. Werner Ovalle Ramírez, Intendant of Customs, Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT) of Guatemala, and Ms. Marilú Haydee Llerena Aybar, Deputy National Superintendent of the Customs Administration of Peru (SUNAT), also participated in this panel discussion, sharing the DSG’s view on the need to promote wider implementation of AEO programmes.