FBR notifies rules to launch authorized economic operator program

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has notified rules to launch Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program to improve trade and business environment in the country.

The AEO was launched by inserting Section 212A was inserted in the Customs Act, 1969 through the Finance Act, 2018.

The FBR now issued AEO rules vide SRO 798 (I) /2020 dated August 28, 2020.

FBR has also constituted AEO Approval Committee in this regard which is finalizing the request of applicants. Software for business process and WeBOC modules for AEO programme has already been developed and is ready for launch at present.

The FBR intend to start Pilot project of the AEO programme at MCC Port Qasim (Exports) Karachi in October, 2020, which will be later on extended to import sector as well.

The World Customs Organization’s (WCO) Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programme is one of the pillars of WCO’s Framework of Standards to secure and facilitate trade (SAFE).

The programme is widely acknowledged as a key driver for a solid customs-business partnership; secure, transparent and predictable trading environment; and in a wider context of economic growth.

Accredited AEOs can enjoy several trade facilitation benefits including expedited processing and release of shipments, mutual recognition of AEO status by customs administrations, financial guarantee waivers, and self assessment.

AEOs include inter alia manufacturers, importers, brokers, carriers, consolidators, intermediaries, exporters, ports, airports, terminal operators, integrated operators, warehouses and distributors.

The government has a Category ‘C’ commitment to provide additional trade facilitation measures related to import, export or transit formalities and procedures, to authorized operators. Pakistan currently ranked 108 out of 190 economies, based on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business score, making it a less attractive country for potential investors.

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