India has developed an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programme consistent with World Customs Organization (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards. The trade supply chain has become extremely complicated and vulnerable to external threats which led to an urgent need to have a system that ensures end to end supply chain security while ensuring faster release of goods. Authorized Economic Operator Programme has been developed by the WCO to standardize the procedure for this programme. Many Customs administrations globally have also adopted the same or similar programmes to ensure supply chain security.
AEO Programme is an effective tool for Customs to Business Partnership towards a common objective of securing supply chain. Under AEO Programme, approved economic operators are given preferential treatment in terms of faster clearance and less physical inspections along with other benefits subject to their conformance of prescribed security standards and compliance with tax laws.
The development of Indian AEO Programme was started on plot basis in August 2011 and is applicable to all economic operators such as Importers, Exporters, Logistic service providers, Customs House Agents, Warehouse owners etc.,. There is also no threshold limit prescribed for eligibility under AEO Programme which would enable any player in the global supply chain including SMEs to apply to get certification under this Programme.
The pilot project completed after a thorough verification process has identified three entities which have been found compliant for grant of AEO Certification. In a function held at New Customs House at Delhi M/S IBM, M/S LG Electronics and M/S Ennore Container Terminal were awarded the AEO certificates by Chairman, CBEC. The CBEC is sure that the commitment of these companies who have volunteered for this programme will provide an impetus to other operators to seek similar certification in future. Indian Customs is also committed to enhancing outreach of this Programme. Trade associations are requested to give wide publicity to this Programme and contribute meaningfully and substantially to foster Customs Business partnership for mutual benefits.
It is envisaged that in the near future Indian Customs will seek to enter into Mutual Recognition Agreements with other Customs administrations for mutual recognition of our AEO programme. This will yield significant benefit to our traders.
CBEC has developed an “Interactive Customs Tariff” application as part of the ongoing trade facilitative measures which was also launched today by Chairman, CBEC.
The purpose of the application is to enhance public access to information on duty payment and other regulatory requirements for clearance of goods, when imported into India. The application is designed to show various customs and other applicable duties. It helps the importers in calculation of actual effective duty applicable by taking into account the various exemption notifications. It also provides alerts related to anti-dumping duties and MRP based abatements and displays Compulsory Compliance Requirements (CCRs).
It is envisaged that the Customs Interactive Tariff would assist the trade in understanding the statutory and other regulatory requirements for clearance of goods and usher greater transparency in the functioning of the Customs department. The department would be making all efforts to constantly address any issues that may arise in using this website in order to improve user experience.