Customs of ASEAN countries recognize each other as authorized economic operators

VCN - On February 14, 2023, Director General of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can and customs leaders of member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) under Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) via online conference.
Director General of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement at headquarter of General Department of Vietnam Customs. Photo provided by Post Clearance Audit Department.
Director General of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement at headquarter of General Department of Vietnam Customs. Photo provided by Post Clearance Audit Department.

The key contents are mutual recognition and trade facilitation measures, whereby each Party will accept the appraisal and recognition of the Program of the other Party granted to the member.

Once the parties have established the compatibility of their Program, each participant will treat the members of the other participants' Program in a manner comparable to its Program and endeavour to provide members with the following trade facilitation measures:

Quick clearance by reducing the document inspection and physical inspection for goods originating from or in transit to a Program member of other Parties depends on the risk assessment of the level of security.

Giving priority inspection for goods originating from or in transit to a member of the Program by other Parties which is selected for conducting the physical inspection; and in the event of a disruption to international trade, try to give priority to process quick clearance for goods originating from or destined for a member of the Program of other participants.

Regarding the content of information exchange and communication, the parties will establish an information exchange mechanism to implement the following measures effectively:

Regularly exchange information about respective program members, including name, address, unique identifier/AEO reference number, accreditation status, and any other relevant information through an agreed communication channel in a secure manner. When available, the parties shall exchange the agreed information promptly.

Provide updates on changes to their respective Programs, including administrative and performance procedures or changes to the names of their Programs; and mutually agreed beneficial exchange of information, such as information and statistics relating to the implementation of programs by members of the parties, the impact of trade facilitation or observable interests, or other information related to supply chain security.

In the future, the Parties will actively implement this agreement to strengthen supply chain security and enhance the common interests of the Parties in trade facilitation; each participant will try to provide benefits consistent with this agreement to the Program members of the other participant; engage in dialogues to discuss opportunities to enable resumption of commerce after disruptions during emergencies.

By Thái Bình/Thanh Thuy

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