Competitive markets

New ICC standards help define trusted traders

  • 22 May 2013
Incoterms® rules

ICC has published a collection of standards to help border authorities determine a standardized definition of a diligent trader.

With a widely-accepted premise that low-risk traders should receive benefits for their investment in security and compliance, a variety of “trusted trader programmes”, commonly referred to as Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programmes have been implemented worldwide.

Addressing the need for a harmonized understanding of what criteria should be used to objectively judge whether a company meets the definition of trusted trader the ICC paper offers a set of 59 baseline best practices of safe and secure conduct for cross-border traders in goods for use by traders when designing and managing AEO programmes and by governments when assessing risks represented by operators. 

Trade is better facilitated when traders represent a low risk to security by complying with national laws and regulations, and border authorities are more likely to reduce barriers to trade when they are confident that traders have implemented strong security, trade compliance processes and internal controls. Developed by the ICC Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation, the ICC Guidelines for Cross-Border Traders in Goods apply on a voluntary basis and are not binding. The guidelines cover the essentials of trader behaviour and will be regularly updated to include relevant developments and to broaden the scope accordingly.

With the help of this new set of guidelines, both traders and border authorities will have a clearer idea of who can be considered “trusted traders” and accord them the various benefits from AEO programmes.

By being able to identify compliant traders, authorities will not only be able to avoid risks but will also be better able to facilitate the smoother flow of goods across borders. The ICC guidelines are intended to contribute to the greater prosperity, economic growth and international security in line with ICC’s overall mission to promote international trade and investment.

The new guidelines have been developed to complement ICC’s Customs Guidelines – a comprehensive set of practices that ICC has established should characterize all modern customs administrations.

Download ICC Guidelines for Cross-Border Traders in Goods

Download ICC Customs Guidelines