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The Criteria and Benefits of the Authorized Economic Operator

 

Highlights

Decree No. 276 of 2020 dated 2 June 2020 (“Decree”) issued by Minister of Finance establishes a new program under the name of the “Authorized Economic Operator Program (“AEO”)” and sets out the criteria and benefits of said program.

Scope of the Decree

The Authorized Economic Operator program is opened to any person involved in the international trade supply chain, whether their line of business is industrial, commercial or service related.

1. Eligibility:

In order to be eligible for the AEO program, a set of criteria must be satisfied, among which, we can mention the following:

  • Applying an internal supervision system managing the commercial, accounting and logistics registers and records in accordance with the customs regulations;
  • Having the financial solvency required to become an AEO; and
  • Taking the form of a corporate entity (whether partnership or corporation).

 

2. Categorization:

There are two categories for the AEO as follows:

  • Silver Category: whereby the AEO has satisfied 80% of the required criteria; and
  • Gold Category: whereby the AEO has satisfied 90% of the required criteria.

 

3. Process

The Applicant submits a request for the registration in the AEO program on the Customs Authority’s relevant application. An Accreditation Committee is formed within the Customs Authority to examine all accreditation requests. The committee issues its decision of approval or rejection within a maximum period of 120 days from the submission date (extendable by a period of no more than 30 days). The accreditation of the AEO shall be valid until suspended or canceled in accordance with the provisions of the Decree.

Every 3 years or as seems fit by the relevant competent authority, the latter conducts a periodical evaluation to determine whether to renew the accreditation of the AEO within the same category, to transfer the AEO to a higher category or to suspend/cancel the accreditation of the AEO in case of breach of the accreditation criteria or of the applicable laws and regulations. In the last case, the Decree offers the AEO a chance to appeal the cancelation or suspension decision before an appeal committee within 30 days from the date of the relevant decision. This committee is competent also to receive appeals regarding the rejection of an applicant request.

4. Benefits

Incentive

Silver

Gold

Enjoying a priority right while registering for the customs declaration

Priority treatment in the event that shipments are subject to actual examination

Allocating a customs committee at the main customs sites to finalize the release procedures of the approved companies’ shipments.

 ✓ ✓ 

Enjoying the lowest actual examination rate for shipments (green path) according to the relevant category and the risk management systems criteria.

Priority in the reimbursement  and settlement of the refunded amounts according to the law.

Green Path %

Green Path %

The possibility to conduct the customs inspection at the AEO's location in coordination with the release customs authority

Having priority when special measures related to the ports closure or ports re-opening after closure due to emergency conditions are applied.

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Allocating a customs coordinator to handle the company’s file in the AEO program and to follow up on the company’s transactions.

Assign an operations coordinator to ensure that the AEO is enjoying its benefits by virtue of the AEO program at the customs sites.

Finalize customs procedures for releasing shipments after official working hours.

Receiving publications issued by customs related to the activities of the AEO.

Taking Advantage of the  indirect benefits such as the ability to use The slogan "Authorized Economic Operator" on the documents of the AEO  which adds credibility and confidence to his transactions with commercial partners and other government authorities.

Enjoy preferential treatment with regards to concerned government authorities’ procedures.

Enjoying the benefits resulting from the bilateral or multilateral AEO mutual recognition treaties that are concluded with commercial partners on the basis of the reciprocity principle

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