Nations around the world have accepted the premise that low risk traders should receive benefits for their investment in security and compliance and have implemented a variety of “trusted trader programmes”. These are commonly referred to as Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programmes. However, there remains a need for a harmonized understanding of what criteria should be used to objectively judge whether a company meets the definition of trusted trader. These guidelines are the ICC’s baseline recommendations to fill that need.
The fifty nine standards contained herein are offered as best practices of safe and secure conduct for cross-border traders in goods. They are intended to be used by traders in the design and management of AEO programmes and to be taken into consideration by governments when assessing the risk represented by operators, particularly in trusted trader programmes. Their objective is to provide a common understanding of what border authorities should expect from a diligent trader.
These recommendations are advice rather than binding regulations on users: they will only apply on a voluntary basis and their observance does not exempt the trader from compliance with local law, which will always prevail. Their purpose is not to be exhaustive. Specific industries and countries may have unique needs which are not covered in these guidelines.