By Rasha Abubaker Jan 5 2020 / Emirates News Agency
ABU DHABI, 5th January, 2019 (WAM) — According to the Federal Customs Authority, FCA, the number of registered companies that benefitted from the advantages offered by the Authorised Economic Operator, AEO, Programme in the UAE totalled 55 at the end of 2019.
Another 15 companies plan to join the programme, which will bring the number to 70 participants by the end of January, it added.
The programme aims to assist in trade and simplify tax procedures for companies that commit to customs and security compliance standards related to supply chains.
Ali Saeed Matar Al Niyadi, Customs Commissioner and FCA Chairman, said that the UAE is keen to open up to global economies, develop partnerships and cooperative ties with other countries and apply the best global practices, in line with the UAE Vision 2021 and the strategic trends of the national economy.
He also noted that the programme is a tool for reinforcing the openness of the nation’s economy to global markets, by assisting with trade and enhancing the country’s competitiveness in various business environment, attraction and logistical support indexes.
The AEO is a federal programme that is being implemented on a national level, under the supervision of the FCA, and links the country with others, in terms of trade and customs, he added, noting that registered companies may easily introduce their products in markets in other countries that have signed mutual agreements with the programme, including South Korea, Saudi Arabia and China.
He affirmed that companies that desire to join the programme and enjoy its benefits are approved according to a series of standards established by the FCA and local customs departments, most notably security and custom standards, proof of compliance to the UAE’s laws and commercial and security regulations, and acceptable and auditable accounting and financial management systems, including customs control and transportation records, evidence of financial viability and solvency, and the adoption of security standards relevant to the international supply chain.
The programme was officially launched in the UAE in October 2016, and a national committee was formed to implement and supervise it, led by the FCA. Local customs departments from around the country are members of the committee, which is also in charge of adopting the programme’s general policy and promoting it on local and federal levels.
“The UAE and South Korea signed an AEO agreement in 2017, which entered into force in October 2018. The two countries exchange statistics, benefits and facilitations periodically. Statistics point out a decrease in their custom clearance period by 83 percent,” Al Niyadi said.
He also pointed out that the UAE signed a similar agreement with Saudi Arabia in May 2019, and the two countries are currently negotiating an explanatory memorandum, the agreement’s implementation mechanism and the timeframe for implementing its experimental stage. He also noted that the UAE signed an AEO agreement with China in July.