From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Authorised Economic Operators
Mains level : Not Much
Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) has inaugurated the online filing of Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) T2 and T3 applications.
Who are Authorised Economic Operators?
- The AEO concept is one of the main building blocks within the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards (SAFE).
- The latter is part of the future international Customs model set out to support secure trade.
- The growth of global trade and increasing security threats to the international movement of goods have forced customs administrations to shift their focus more and more to securing the international trade flow and away from the traditional task of collecting customs duties.
- Recognizing these developments, the World Customs Organization, drafted the WCO Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate global trade (SAFE).
- In the framework, several standards are included that can assist Customs administrations in meeting these new challenges.
- Developing an Authorized Economic Operator programme is a core part of SAFE.
AEOs in India
- AEO is a voluntary programme.
- It enables Indian Customs to enhance and streamline cargo security through close cooperation with the principal stakeholders of the international supply chain viz. importers, exporters, logistics providers, custodians or terminal operators, customs brokers and warehouse operators.
Back2Basics: World Customs Organization (WCO)
- WCO is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.
- The WCO is noted for its work in areas covering international trade facilitation, customs enforcement activities, combating counterfeiting in support of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), drugs enforcement, illegal weapons trading, integrity promotion, and delivering the sustainable capacity building to assist with customs reforms and modernization.
- The WCO represents 179 Customs administrations that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade.
- As the global centre of Customs expertise, the WCO has the tools and expertise to assist implementation of all legal, policy, procedural, technological, and human resource aspects related to trade facilitation.
- The WCO maintains the international Harmonized System (HS) goods nomenclature and administers the technical aspects of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements on Customs Valuation and Rules of Origin.