Dated 02nd September 2012
An Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme has been developed to enable businesses involved in the international trade to reap the following benefits:
Secure supply chain from point of export to import;
Ability to demonstrate compliance with security standards when contracting to supply overseas importers/exporters;
Enhanced border clearance privileges in MRA (Mutual Recognition Agreement) partner countries;
Minimal disruption to flow of cargo after a security related disruption;
Reduction in dwell time and related costs; and
Customs advice / assistance if trade faces unexpected issues with Customs of countries with which we have MRA.
The AEO programme applies to economic operators such as importer, exporter, logistics provider, Customs House Agent who satisfy following criteria:
(i) A record of compliance of Customs and other legal provisions;
(ii) Demonstrate satisfactory systems of managing commercial and, where appropriate, transport records;
(iii) Financially solvency; and
(iv) Demonstrate satisfactory security and safety standards
The ‘Authorised Economic Operators’ (AEO) programme is developed pursuant to guidelines of WCO (Word Customs Organisation) adopted in SAFE FoS (Framework of Standard) in 2005.
Any economic operator such as importer, exporter, logistics provider and CHA can apply for authorisation, if he is able to establish record of compliance in respect of customs and other legal provisions, is financially solvent and able to demonstrate satisfactory systems of managing commercial and transport records. AEO programme will be implemented by Directorate General of Inspection (DGICCE). Once authorisation is granted, there will be relaxed procedural requirements etc. There will reduced examination and inspection with AEO status holders. The AEO programme is on voluntary basis. Authorisation shall be granted after detailed verification and validation. The requirements and application form has been specified in MF(DR) circular No. 37/2011-Cus dated 23-8-2011.The key features are mentioned below:
- Any economic operator such as importer, exporter, logistics provider, Customs House Agent can apply for authorization subject to the criteria that the applicant is:
(i) able to establish a record of compliance in respect of Customs and other legal provisions.
(ii) able to demonstrate satisfactory systems of managing commercial and, where appropriate, transport records.
(iii) financially solvent.
(iv) able to demonstrate satisfactory systems in respect of security and safety standards.
The AEO programme shall be implemented by the Directorate General of Inspection (DGICCE) and Additional Director General, DGICCE (HQ), New Delhi will be the AEO Programme Manager. The AEO Programme Manager shall be assisted by a team of officers viz. the AEO Programme Team.
-The authorization shall normally be granted within 90 days of receipt of application if the same is found to be acceptable and not deficient in any material particulars. The programme also provides for circumstances under which the authorization may be considered for revocation or suspension.
-The AEO Programme envisages various benefits to different categories of economic operators such as importers, exporters, Customs House Agents, etc. The intention is to give AEO certified operators preferential treatment in terms of less Customs examination, relaxed procedural requirements etc. This is subject to the authorized operators maintaining security standards and compliance requirements as detailed in Annexure and informing the AEO Programme Manager within 30 days in case of any significant change in business or business processes.
-The AEO programme would be implemented on voluntary basis i.e. those who are interested in getting benefits of the programme may apply for authorization as per the procedure outlined in the Annexure. The authorization shall be granted after detailed pre-certification verification and validation done by AEO Programme Team.
SOURCE: GOVT. OF INDIA, Ministry of Finance