WCO holds the first AEO Pre-Accreditation Workshop for French-speaking experts

26 mayo 2022

From 16 to 20 May 2022, the World Customs Organization (WCO), with the financial support of the Korea Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF-Korea), organized the first global online Pre-Accreditation Workshop for French-speaking experts on Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programmes.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, Director of Compliance and Facilitation, emphasized that the workshop was an essential step in establishing a pool of AEO Experts - Technical and Operational Advisers, capable of independently leading Technical Assistance missions in the field of AEO programmes on behalf of the WCO for its Members. The francophone Customs community has been moving fast in the context of the development of AEO programmes and the signing of Mutual Recognition Arrangements/Agreements. There has been an increasing demand for technical assistance and capacity building activities in the SAFE/AEO areas for the French-speaking WCO Members, especially in the West and Central African region.

It is important to reiterate the critical role of the francophone AEO Accredited Experts in bringing more standardization to national AEO implementation and facilitating the AEO MRA process. The Accredited Experts are expected to support the new development and further enhancement of AEO programmes and MRA negotiation and implementation by sharing the uniform approach embedded in the guidelines and tools under the WCO’s SAFE Package.

Twelve selected candidates from twelve Member Administrations took part in the Workshop. Mr. Georges Cantone, former Customs Attaché to the WCO, an AEO accredited expert, and currently, the Director of International Relations Division, French Customs, joined the workshop as a co-facilitator. Participants from Algeria, Benin, China, Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, India, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, and Turkey worked intensively and demonstrated their knowledge and skills to deliver Capacity Building activities in the area of AEO. In the end, participants acknowledged that even though the workshop was held virtually, it was very well structured and served as a forum for sharing knowledge and experience and discussing challenges and solutions on various topics around AEO implementation and MRAs.

The participants that successfully completed the pre-accreditation Workshop will be invited to the next stage of the WCO expert accreditation process, including national/regional workshops as a pre-qualified WCO expert in the area of AEO.