DUBAI, UAE: The World Customs Organization’s 5th Global AEO Conference has concluded after three busy days of discussions focused on the AEO programme. The Conference was hosted virtually by Dubai Customs and the UAE Federal Customs Authority.
Held under the headline ‘AEO 2.0: Advancing Towards New Horizons for Sustainable and Secure Trade’, the event brought together many trade experts to shed the light on supply chain security.
Since its inception in 2012, AEO has become the gold standard for cooperation between customs administrations and the private sector to facilitate trade. Particular emphasis was placed on the co-option of new economic operators, and the integration of new technologies. Expanding the AEO programme to include new economic operators that have thus far been left out of consideration is essential, many experts asserted, due to the pandemic and its impact on the world.
Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, said: “The Customs community faced an unprecedented situation and had to move quickly to support global supply chains and ensure the seamless flow of relief goods across borders. It was clear that the AEO programme has been instrumental against a slowed down trade system.”
Being one of several major events that have had to turn virtual due to Covid-related restrictions, AEO 2.0 emerged as perhaps one of the most successful, with 3,905 registrations from 150 countries, 72 speakers and 22 sessions.
HE Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, credited the AEO programme with a significant uptick in transactions processed at Dubai Customs since the start of the pandemic, saying: “Dubai Customs was quick to realise the many benefits the programme carried for the emirate.
“As a uniquely positioned trading hub with extensive capabilities and access to regional markets, Dubai is on the itinerary of probably every shipment moving from point to point in half of the world, and it is imperative for us to pioneer the adoption of standards and regulations that facilitate trade from every aspect possible.”
The AEO Conference also dedicated time to the discussion of cybersecurity threats, and the hurdles preventing the expansion of the programme, due to disparities in know-how, frameworks, infrastructure and capacity between nations.
The General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China has announced hosting the next edition in 2022, at a location and by means yet to be disclosed.