As the world strives to move beyond the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alliance is pressing on with its work to help safely train and certify more than 200 customs officials from 11 countries across Latin America on critical trade validation processes.
Thanks to online courses and testing offered through a partnership with the Asociación de Empresas Seguras (Association of Safe Companies) of Colombia, this training will be the driving force behind our regional project that aims to improve inspection processes and speed clearance times for approved shipments.
The Alliance is working with the customs administrations of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay to establish a Regional Recognition Agreement that will reduce the time and expense of trade for certified companies, called authorised economic operations or AEOs.
To establish eligibility, members from the customs administration of each nation visit AEO-certified companies or those in the process of obtaining the certification to ensure that their programs are compatible with one another. They also need to meet the standards set out under the World Customs Organization’s SAFE Framework.
These joint-site validations are typically conducted in person, but the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on global travel has made that largely impossible, creating a backlog of companies pursuing AEO certification or its renewal.
By teaming up with the non-profit Asociación de Empresas Seguras, the Alliance’s project is able to offer an innovative online course to the 209 customs officials from the participating countries that will provide them with the knowledge and skills to conduct part of the validation process remotely.
The five-week course began this month and is being offered through an online platform, allowing the trainees to have access at any hour to all resources and materials. All participants must pass an online assessment upon completion of the course to obtain certification.
The Alliance’s approach is built around a central pillar of public-private collaboration and its partnership with Asociación de Empresas Seguras is another example of how this kind of collaboration and innovation is even more essential to navigate the hurdles created by the pandemic.
The Allliance’s Aurelio Garcia explains…