In Buenos Aires, between February 10 and 15, the first validation on a company was held, as part of the Regional Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Project. Representatives of the Customs Administrations of Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Guatemala (invited as an observer country), participated in the activity.
During this meeting, apart from carrying out the AEO validation of an Argentinian company, and through this, the certification of the AEO Program of Argentina Customs, the schedule for validations in the remaining 8 countries that signed the ‘Sao Paulo Declaration’ was approved: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic and Uruguay. Also, the criteria for the Regional MRA between MERCOSUR and the Pacific Alliance was unified and standardized.
Uruguay Customs, together with other Customs Administrations from South America, has been promoting since 2017 the initiative for establishing a Regional Mutual Recognition Agreement.
The aim of this project is to ensure high levels of Customs security, during all the supply chain of goods, and to promote the harmonization and standardization of the procedures related to AEO Programs.
In November 2017, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, within the framework of the ‘International Seminar on AEO Programs in the Southern Cone countries’, the signing of a Regional MRA was proposed. In June 2018, in Brussels, Belgium, the Directors General of 13 Customs Administrations of the Region (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic and Uruguay), signed a Letter of Intent, in which they formalized their willingness to be part of this project.
During November 26 and 27, 2018, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the first working meeting for the Regional MRA AEO Project was held among the Directors of 9 Customs present in Sao Paulo, Brazil: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic and Uruguay. As a result, the Directors signed "The São Paulo Declaration", in which they reiterated their commitment and willingness to advance in the project.
Financing for the Regional AEO Project is in the final negotiation stage with Global Alliance, which includes three organizations that are responsible for designing and executing projects to support the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
The Alliance’s aim is to design and develop joint projects with the public and private sector. This is why the Regional AEO is so relevant for many donors.