ICC Recommendations on Authorized Economic Operators
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) released business recommendations on Authorized Economic Operators at the WCO 3rd Global AEO Conference in Cancun, Mexico.
With the demand for greater security in trade growing, an increasing number of customs administrations have begun to implement Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) programmes. While there are over 60 AEO programmes at the time of release of the ICC statement, the benefits for companies are not self-evident and the application processes are burdensome. The policy statement underlines the important role that AEO programmes could play in promoting cross-border trade but only when offering tangible benefits to companies and not jeopardizing trade facilitation for traders without AEO-status – most notably small and medium sized enterprises.
Furthermore, in the interests of harmonization, ICC recommends that AEO programmes be based on the World Customs Organization (WCO) SAFE Framework of standards and countries pursue mutual recognition agreements.
The ICC statement provides concrete recommendations for a way forward and ICC will continue to engage with the World Customs Organization, other intergovernmental organizations and government officials to ensure AEO continues to serve the needs of business and foster cross-border trade and economic growth.