WCO supports enhancing AEO validation techniques in Nigeria

21 九月 2018

The WCO conducted a Workshop on Developing a National Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programme and Validation Techniques from 11 to 13 September 2018 at the Customs Command and Staff College in Gwagwalada, Abuja (Nigeria), with support from the Korea Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF-Korea).

The workshop was designed to provide participants with a better understanding of various instruments related to implementation of the SAFE Framework of Standards and AEO Programme, together with associated requirements and validation techniques.  This was a follow-up to the May 2018 Sensitization Workshop to support the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in preparing for the launch of the pilot project.  It brought together around 60 participants, including Customs officers and private sector stakeholders wishing to engage in the AEO Programme.

At the opening ceremony, Mr. ACG EDIKE, E. C. B., Commandant of Nigeria’s Customs Command and Staff College, speaking on behalf of the Comptroller-General of NCS, underscored the importance of the AEO Programme for enhancing the integrity of security management in the trade supply chain and for the Customs clearance of legitimate goods.  He then expressed his gratitude to the WCO for organizing this relevant and timely workshop, given that it aimed to set the stage for collaboration between the Customs Administration and the private sector.  He also extended his appreciation to the WCO official and the accredited AEO experts from Korea for assisting with the early adoption of the AEO Programme in Nigeria, before encouraging participants to give their full attention to the workshop and to share knowledge.

The WCO team described the WCO tools for implementation of the AEO Programme and SAFE Framework of Standards.  They also imparted know-how and considerations to be borne in mind when designing an AEO Programme tailored to the needs and expectations of NCS officers and the private sector.  Through the course of the workshop, the experts introduced the concepts of AEO requirements, validation techniques and benefits while the participants carried out case studies and practical exercises to gain an understanding of these concepts.  In order to conduct an effective security management review of AEO-certified companies, the WCO team and participants shared their views on specific techniques for on-site validation.  The participants also entered into group discussions to find ways of implementing AEO pilot projects in the near future.  The WCO team apprised NCS’s AEO Committee of the measures to be taken to prepare for the pilot project.  Nigeria committed itself to meeting the planned target of launching the pilot AEO Programme in November 2018, and asked the WCO for the additional support needed to enact requirements, issue circulars and develop validation techniques.

The workshop proved to be very informative, as the vast majority of stakeholders in the AEO Programme were able to identify potential problems at this stage and were also empowered to play an even greater role in the economy.  Another useful and meaningful outcome of the workshop was that it increased understanding of the steps required for adoption of the AEO Programme and SAFE Framework.