23 September 13

The role of AEO as an instrument of increased efficiency in logistics

September 23, 2013

Last week Genoa was the protagonist of Genoa Shipping Week, an occasion for the worldwide shipping community to gather around events on maritime shipping, logistics and technological innovation which highlighted the importance of the maritime sector for the world’s industry development.

Within the Genoa Shipping Week and directly connected to Port and Shipping Tech, a one-day workshop took place on September 18th, in order to highlight the role and provide in-depth insights on the AEO. Private and public authorities intervened to highlight the role of AEO as a strategic instrument for development; furthermore Circle, Leghorn and AME illustrated their project for an innovative eSeal device, potentially fundamental for its sinergies with the legislative innovations that are currently in place and an opportunity for increased efficiency within the logistic chain.

In the following paragraphs, a syntetic overview on the AEO profile and benefits will be provided in order to highlight an important innovation in the EU framework.

The Authorised Economic Operator is a status achieved after submitting an official request to the European Union, in order to be evaluated according to high standards of security and trustworthiness.

The official definition of AEO responds to the following words: “a party involved in the international movement of goods in whatever function that has been approved by or on behalf of a national Customs administration as complying with WCO or equivalent supply chain security standards. Authorized Economic Operators include inter alia manufacturers, importers, exporters, brokers, carriers, consolidators, intermediaries, ports, airports, terminal operators, integrated operators, warehouses and distributors”.

The role of AEO has been created as a respose to the growing volume of trade and international exchanges of goods: these factors, combined with episodes of terroristic nature (e.g September 9\11) called for a higher level of security worldwide, for ensuring a  smooth and fast trade process that could simultaneously be stricter and controlled.

The certification aims at ascertaining compliance with high standards on Customs procedures (AEOC), or Security levels (AEOS) and a Full certificate(AEOF) exists comprising a complete assessment on both of these aspects. Worldwide, similar programmes have been implemented in several countries (e.g the USA, Singapore; New Zealand; APEC) , helping to achieve a global trustworthiness framework and a mutual acceptance of certifications aiming at the same goals.

Benefits of this status include Customs procedures simplifications, transit regime simplification and a considerable reduction of the risk cathegory assessed by the Customs Agency’s analysis. These simplification will ultimately affect transit times, cost levels and security levels in  global trade.

As a result secure supply chains can be established, as all parts of the chain from origin (place of stuffing of the container) to destination (place of unpacking of the container) are deemed to be safe, albeit under different AEO programmes.