ABF cooperates and exchanges information for the security and safety of international supply chain

VCN - ABF will cooperate and exchanges information related to Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program, said by Micheal Cymbalista - Counselor of the Australian Border Force (ABF) in the Mekong Region on the sidelines of the 33rd ASEAN Directors-General of Customs Meeting.
ABF cooperates and exchanges information for the security and safety of international supply chain

The 33rd ASEAN Directors-General of Customs Meeting. Photo: Tran Anh

According to Mr. Michael Cymbalista, in Australia, the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program is internally known as the Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) program. This is very successful program, which is built on the WCO SAFE Framework and is also added in some criteria related to trade compliance. It is a rigorous assessment process and criteria. Currently, we have almost 1,000 ATTs.

However, the program is opened to all entities within the international supply chain. In order to be validated as an ATT, entities will be gone through assessment process by professionals who are trained for over 18 months in validation exercises and in how to validate employers and potential entities into the Australian Trusted trader program.

Therefore, during the validation process, ABF not only refers all standards of the WCO SAFE Framework but also considers all trade compliance data. We look at information quality, security aspects, financial health, personal security of the entities, in addition to their compliance with trade laws and customs laws. ABF cooperates and shares information across the international supply chain.

In terms of ABF's future plans for ATT, Mr. Michael Cymbalista said that in order to be consistent with the WCO SAFE Framework, ABF plans to add some criteria, strengthen data exchange and expedite IT application in the program and comply with Green Customs procedures, which plays an important role to improve supply chain integrity of the program.

ABF cooperates and exchanges information for the security and safety of international supply chain
Mr. Micheal Cymbalista - Counselor of the Australian Border Force (ABF) in the Mekong Region.

Regarding small and medium-sized enterprises validated as ATT, Mr. Michael Cymbalista said that the Customs act doesn’t have a specific definition of small and medium enterprises. ABF relies on the Taxation laws, which defines a small business with turnover of less than $10million. When applied to the ATT, roughly half of enterprises under the ATT are small businesses.

It’s really important to distinguish that we provide through the taxation legislation a level of security that’s applied to small businesses and large businesses. They are based on the WCO SAFE framework. However, we are then permitted to define businesses across that spectrum in the taxation legislation.

The ATT program. One of the pillars that we look at is security, but it can be broken down further through a lot of different individual areas as far as security is concerned. So we are looking at things like information security that is stored and handled within the entities system.

We have got operating systems, so that is the security of those, whether or not they meet industry standards and whether or not they are the latest versions that are applied across the international supply chain.

We have got personnel security. That’s a big issue. Obviously, one of our big concerns in the international supply chain is the threat of trusted insiders. So personnel security is particularly important to ensure that the particular entity is free from potential criminal infiltration.

We have got physical security, which is obviously a big part of these entities, whether or not premises are secured appropriately from potential harm. We look at cyber security increasingly now. Cybersecurity is an increasing focus for all ASEAN Member States and the risk that potential cyber security might pose to businesses. That’s one of the security criteria that we like to revise now and then.

Finally, we have the international supply chain security. So this is particulate entity’s place within the broader international supply chain.

Currently, ABF and Vietnam Customs strengthen their cooperative relationship. ABF recognizes Vietnam as a comprehensive strategic partner based on the foundation of cooperative relations between the two governments. Notably, in May, ABF Commissioner Michael Outram visited Vietnam Customs and worked with Director General of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can to discuss cooperation and sign a MOU on information exchange and anti-smuggling cooperation.

ABF appreciates the cooperation with Vietnam Customs to achieve outstanding results. Therefore, ABF recently has sent a representative as the First Secretary at the Australian Embassy, and the representative has made many efforts to coordinate with Vietnam Customs to implement cooperative activities.

By Hoang Loan

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