CT Strategies (CTS) is assisting Oxford Research who was selected by the European Commission DG TAXUD to conduct a study on the European Union’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programme. The purpose of this study is to assess the wider impact of the EU AEO program and to explore options to improve its quality through strengthening the link between AEO and risk management processes to achieve higher standards of supply chain security aiding the legitimate flow of goods worldwide.
CTS will work with various stakeholders, including EU Customs administrations, to analyze the impact of the latest updates to the US Customs Trade Partnership against Terrorism (CTPAT) program; assess the continued compatibility of CTPAT program with existing EU AEO policies and requirements; review the implementation status potential for future development of mutual recognition agreements (MRA) with a focus on the realization of benefits; and submit recommendations for improved effectiveness, efficiency, and added value.
The EU AEO concept is based on the Customs to Business partnership introduced by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in 2005. Private entities, who voluntarily meet a wide range of criteria and work in close cooperation with customs authorities to assure the common objective of supply chain security can become part of the AEO program. Once within the Program, the members are considered lower-risk operators and may experience reduced risk-based customs controls.
Improving the functioning of the AEO program and the alignment between the program and Customs control will not only assist in encouraging growth in the program, but also assist in ensuring that benefits such as customs simplification and priority control treatment are properly conferred to participating members. Furthermore, this paves a path forward in the establishment of international mutual recognition agreements between various AEO programs. Since its establishment in 2008, the EU has signed mutual recognition agreements with Norway, Switzerland, Japan, Andorra, the US, and China. Negotiations with several other countries are also taking place with the goal of signing additional mutual recognition agreements.
As a global leader in AEO with expertise in customs modernization, CT Strategies plays a key role in this initiative of strengthening supply chain security. Supporting the development of the EU AEO program expands the team’s global footprint, adding to the growing list of locations in which CTS has successfully supported AEO development including Serbia, the UAE, and Australia