On 21st November, 2023 Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) held an exclusive forum for the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program Awareness Session at the Johari Rotana Hotel. In attendance and among the speaker of the forum was CTI’s Executive Director, Leodegar Tenga. The session which was organized with the support of TradeMark Africa aimed at giving awareness to the economic operators and stakeholders on the new developed scheme of AEO.
The Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program, is part of the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) framework, aims to secure and streamline international trade for businesses adhering to Customs controls and procedures. This initiative seeks to bolster Customs efficiency amid increased trade volumes, enhance supply chain security, improve the trading environment, and stimulate economic growth and employment.
The Authorized Economic Operator status offers benefits such as reduced clearance time, cost savings, enhanced security, and global recognition, aligning with government directives to provide a conducive business environment.
The AEO program certifies compliant traders and goods based on customs clearances and validations in accordance with low-risk criteria, according to the Commissioner General of TRA, Alphayo Kidata, who emphasized that this is a shift from merely focusing on goods to also considering traders. Customs Department can handle consignments and traders from certified companies with much more expeditiously because of this accreditation.
The traders who are compliant to the scheme will receive direct verification because TRA has linked the scheme with other government agencies in the scheme, he continued, and they will be vetted in accordance with certain criteria. Each member state will also verify them in accordance with these guidelines. "We are encouraging compliant industries to join these schemes, of which there are currently 29 members."
From the private sector, the scheme has delighted CTI Executive Director, Leodegar Tenga, who also thanked TRA for it, saying, "We thank TRA for having such an important scheme which will essentially aims at expediting clearing of goods and generally enhancing the efficiency of our industry daily operations."
He continued, "This is good news for CTI as our members, who are the industries, will benefit from the scheme. One of our members, Councilor MMI Steel, has testified to this effect today." "We have witnessed a trade facilitation solution today, so CTI we will inform our members about this significant program with a clear and concise message," he says, “Be Trustworthy, be compliant, adhere to the regulations and you will enjoy the benefits of the AEO program.”
Additionally, MMI Steel's CEO, Mr. Ratish Kamania, has provided a testimonial regarding the programs and their efficacy, citing benefits such as direct verification and a decrease in the number of inspections and operating expenses.
Lastly, but not least, the prospective clients of this AEO program are you, our members, who are import and export manufacturers, custom clearing agencies, bonded warehouse operators, importers and exporters, freight forwarders, and transporters.
Please do not hesitate to contact the CTI secretariat if you would want further information about the program. or, alternatively, recommend that we arrange a member meeting with TRA for individuals who would like to sign up for the program.