The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says the Authorise Economic Operator (AEO) programme introduced by World Customs Organisation (WCO) is aimed at enhancing international business supply chain security in member countries.
The NCS Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah in a statement said that the programme would require traders to voluntarily meet a wide range of criteria and work in close cooperation with NCS authorities to ensure the common objective of supply chain security
“AEO is a concept of customs to business supply chain security. It is aimed at facilitating legitimate trade in the country. AEO deals essentially with security in the movement of goods from the manufacturer to importers up to the factory in a fast track manner in such a way that security is guaranteed,”
“The compliant traders are given AEO status because they are low risk traders and can be trusted by customs by granting their releases with less control compared to non compliant traders. AEO will also involve manufacturers, importers, exporters, brokers, carriers, warehouses, distributors, freight forwarders among many,” he explained.
Attah disclosed that WCO sent two experts to NCS administration to train customs officers and shareholders on how to operate the concept, noting that Nigeria as the biggest market in Africa was yet to join the rest of the world in the implementation of the programme.
He added that some modest economies like Uganda and Rwanda had the programme already working with the support of the WCO.
According to him, WCO is working with NCS to ensure that AEO programme takes off in Nigeria.
The Customs PRO said the ease of doing business was a government policy introduced to reduce bottlenecks in the flow of trade, which was also in line with World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade facilitation.
He stressed the need for collaboration, partnership between customs, government agencies and the private sector to achieve the goals of the programme.