BRUSSELS, Dubai Customs announced the hosting of the 5th WCO Global AEO Conference in March 2020.

The announcement was made during the customs authority's participation in the World Customs Organisation, WCO, Council 133rd and 134th sessions in Brussels, Belgium.

The Conference, held in cooperation with the World Customs Organisation, will take place in Dubai from 10th-12th March 2020.

The Authorised Economic Operator, AEO, programme is a partnership between trade community and customs, in which actors in the global supply chain can apply for AEO status to receive trade facilitation benefits and, at the same time, verify and increase their level of compliance and security.

In his speech at the event, Dubai Customs Director-General, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, said, "The hosting of the 5th WCO Global AEO Conference in Dubai reflects our great achievements and the advanced level we reached in fulfilment of our future vision and aspirations in the UAE. We join the customs community around the world to bolster the efforts and enhance cooperation between the private and public sectors, and facilitate legitimate trade and movement of passengers. We hope the Conference will foster and advance the success of customs work in the 21st century, and your participation will be one of the pillars of success to this conference."

Musabih added, "We are proud to host this big event, the first of its kind in the region. The Authorised Economic Operator has seen rapid growth and development since its official launch under the aegis of the Federal Customs Authority in October 2016. New members are joining, and new mutual recognition agreements are signed. A work plan for a future mutual recognition agreement was signed between the UAE and China in December 2018, and a mutual recognition agreement was signed with South Korea in July 2017. In November, a work plan was signed with KSA. There are 55 member companies in the UAE AEO today."

Directors-General of the 183 WCO Member Customs administrations met as the WCO Council, the Organisation's supreme decision-making body, to take stock of what had been done since it last met and to map the road ahead for the next financial year, driven by the will to build a stable, predictable, safe and transparent trade environment.

The Council discussed issues relating to the WCO's different areas of work, including the harmonised system, rules of origin, customs valuation, enforcement, facilitation and capacity building.

Among the important tools discussed and adopted by the Council was the 2022 version of the Harmonised System. Some notable amendments were the new headings or defining notes for new or major technologies (3D printers, smartphones, drones and novel tobacco products), electronic waste (e-waste), various gases with high global warming potential, rapid diagnostic kits for Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, new fentanyl opioid derivatives, cultural articles, edible oils produced by microbes, edible insect products and minimally processed quinoa.

The Council endorsed an E-Commerce package and agreed to continue developing additional technical specifications. To further enhance Customs-Post cooperation, the Council adopted the 'Joint WCO UPU Guidelines on exchange of electronic advance data between Posts and Customs'. An implementation strategy, an action plan and a capacity building mechanism aimed at ensuring the widespread adoption and implementation of the Framework of Standards were also adopted.

In addition, the Council adopted the new WCO Strategic Plan for 2019/2022 with its nine priority areas, namely coordinated border management, security and safety, the Revised Kyoto Convention, e-commerce, the Harmonised System, the Capacity Building Strategy, performance measurement, integrity, and digital Customs and data analysis.

Source: Emirates News Agency