Latin America

In progress

Helping to establish an AEO Regional Recognition Arrangement

Facilitating intra-regional trade in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Eleven Latin American and Caribbean countries are working together to establish an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Regional Recognition Arrangement (RRA). The arrangement between Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay has the potential to boost intra-regional trade by making it simpler, faster and more cost-effective for AEO companies to trade across the region. If it is to be successful, however, it must be designed and implemented by both governments and business working together.

What is an AEO Regional Recognition Arrangement? 

Under AEO programmes, which already exist in all eleven countries, companies who comply with the supply chain security standards in the World Customs Organization’s SAFE Framework of Standards, are awarded ‘Authorised Economic Operator’ status by customs. These companies benefit from reduced inspections on goods and quicker clearance times at borders. For example, in Brazil, export and import clearance for AEO companies is on average 65% and 81% faster than those of non-AEO companies.  Such programmes also allow customs to focus inspections on unknown high-risk cargo, making their operations more efficient and strengthening security. Regional Recognition Arrangements are established between countries so that the AEO status awarded in one country is recognised by all the signatory countries of the RRA, and therefore the AEO company can benefit from favourable treatment while trading in each country involved.

What we are doing?

Our project is supporting the RRA negotiations and joint site validations that are essential for the signing of the regional arrangement.

We are also bringing in the voice of business to ensure that the agreement delivers real benefits for traders and governments. We are surveying AEO companies to gather their experiences of AEO programmes, ideas for improvements and views on best practices.

Once the arrangement is signed, the Alliance will support the design and development of an IT platform for the participating countries to efficiently manage and exchange AEO data.

This is vital to ensure the benefits of being an AEO company are realised in practice.

Benefits

The agreement will mean AEO companies are able to trade throughout the region with fewer physical and documentary inspections of their goods, faster border clearance times, and ultimately reduced costs.

Meanwhile customs agencies will be able to increase their administrative efficiency by allocating their human and technical resources to high-risk shipments. Underpinning all these benefits will be a trusted and constructive working relationship between the government and business.

Measurement and evaluation 

Despite the growing number of mutual recognition agreements and RRAs, there is a lack of understanding of their impact on business and customs administrations. This is why, once the arrangement is in place, we will measure how effective it is in delivering benefits to both the public and private sectors and capture lessons so we can promote the AEO concept as best practice globally.

How can business get involved? 

We are looking for businesses to get involved in a wide range of activities, including:

  • participating in private sector surveys and consultations;
  • helping to develop resources and tools on obtaining the AEO certification;
  • supporting the development of an IT platform to facilitate the exchange of AEO related data; and
  • sharing their experience as AEO companies to help us measure impact.

Project structure 

Phase 1

In progress

Supporting the negotiations

Phase 2

Planned

Implementing the RRA

Phase 3

Planned

Evaluating impact

Testimonials

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Sindy Sevilla

Sindy Sevilla, Founder, SB Café Los Santos, Costa Rica
Sindy Sevilla is a coffee lover and successful entrepreneur who turned her passion for coffee into a business. She founded SB Café Los Santos in 2012 when she moved to Tarrazu, a rural area of Costa Rica. “I wanted to turn my passion into a living and make an impact by empowering local people, especially women,” explains Sindy. Positive social impact is at the heart of Sindy’s business. “Most coffee is exported as green beans. We don’t sell that because we believe it is important for Costa Rica to handle most of the transformation that adds value. We want to keep the profits in the community.”
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Paulina Abrokwah

Paulina Abrokwah, Freight Forwarder, Accra
Paulina Abrokwah works hard to keep goods moving. As a freight forwarder in Ghana, she helps businesses get the right documents, comply with regulations and transport their goods across the country’s borders. Her role ensures Ghanaian consumers can buy a wide range of products and that Ghanaian businesses can export their wares across the world. Every day she deals with shipments, from cars to electronics, sending to and receiving from as far away as Mexico, China, Brazil and Europe. “The difficulties we face now in clearing the border can make the process very stressful and that can discourage people from trading,” says Paulina.
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Revathi Roy

Revathi Roy, Co-founder and CEO, HeyDeedee, Mumbai
Revathi Roy set up India’s first all-female delivery company HeyDeedee in 2016 to offer new training and professional opportunities to low-income women in Mumbai. Three years later, her business operates in 10 Indian cities, employs 10 000 women agents, and has partnerships with giants like Amazon. “A career in logistics is not an intuitive leap for Indian women since this field has been largely dominated by men. Parents see jobs in the call centre industry as a safer option for their daughters,” explains Revathi.
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Eston Sakala

Eston Sakala, Managing Director, Evolution Logistics and Solutions, Lusaka
Eston Sakala set up his own clearing and forwarding business in 2016 helping traders to move their goods in and out of Zambia – a profession he has been in for 17 years. In three short years he has grown his business from scratch to employ 18 staff with a customer base spanning Zambia’s key import and export sectors. “My goal now is to build capacity in my business, embrace technology and deliver my service to the level of a DHL,” says Eston. “I’d love to see the day when I can sit in front of my screen and watch trucks being processed by Evolution in real time, every minute, every hour. I want to be the go-to business for quick and correct clearances.”
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