What is AEO?
The AEO is another concept which is developed as a result of Customs Administrations efforts to deal with increasing flow of goods among the countries. Since physical examination of all the goods moving across borders is impeding international trade, the Customs Administrations are selecting the cargo based on their risk management. The idea is to trust the reliable companies and focus on the goods which are considered as more risky.
WCO Framework of Standards (WCO SAFE) defined the AEO as “a party involved in the international movement of goods in whatever function that has been approved by or on behalf of a national Customs administration as complying with WCO or equivalent supply chain security standards”. According to the WCO SAFE, AEOs may include manufacturers, importers, exporters, brokers, carriers, consolidators, intermediaries, ports, airports, terminal operators, integrated operators, warehouses, distributors and freight forwarders.
AEO in Yemen
To increase the flow of goods through Aden and ensure the shipping of critical humanitarian supplies into the country, USAID’s Yemen Economic Stabilization and Success (YESS) program is sparking new advances aimed at addressing trade bottlenecks and barriers. As a case in point, the YESS team worked extensively with the Yemen Customs Authority to introduce a pilot program in Aden in July 2019 using the AEO designation requirements, which greatly facilitate trade operations and efficiencies.
AEO is an internationally recognized pre-approval process for companies involved in the international movement of goods. It acts as an easy pass through Customs for trusted traders who can demonstrate solid compliance histories with Customs requirements and meet a wide range of security and management conditions. In Yemen, the eligibility criteria also require that a company have had a minimum of five years in business and at least 150 import declarations (or $500,000 worth of imports) annually during the last three years. Further requirements include three years with both a clean record of compliance with Customs laws and proof of financial solvency.
AEO benefits include the following:
- Processing of the import declaration and any required supporting documents prior to the arrival of the goods
- Acceptance of electronic declarations without the requirement to also submit paper documentation to obtain clearance
- Lower rates of documentary check and physical inspection of imports and expedited release of goods
- Priority inspections if an import is selected for Customs control
As of January 2020, two firms have qualified as AEO trusted traders: Al-Alam Industrial Co. and Bin Awadh Al-Naqeeb Trading Corporation, which specializes in the import of rice, cooking oil, biscuits, canned tuna, and other foodstuffs. Three additional entities have submitted applications that are currently under review, including Yemen Company for Flour Mills and Silos, which produces flour and bran and is another member of the HSA Group; AbdulWahed M. Noman & Sons Estb. Ltd., an agent of Canon products; and the UN World Food Program, which supplies general food assistance to more than 12 million people in Yemen. Other firms have expressed interest in or are in the process of preparing their applications for AEO designation.
This provides guidance and a checklist for determining eligibility. A self-assessment form can be browsed or downloaded in Word format
How to Apply?
This provides step by step process and a list of necessary documents for seeking AEO Status from YCA. The AEO application can be browsed or downloaded in pdf format. This includes a link to E-AEO.