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Businesses urged to become authorised economic operators

2023-03-31  Maihapa Ndjavera

Businesses urged to become authorised economic operators

Trade minister Lucia Iipumbu urged Namibian businesses to actively participate in the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme. AEO is a programme through which authorised economic traders are assessed and approved by customs administrations as complying with the supply chain security standards developed by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and awarded certain trade facilitation benefits.

Iipumbu was speaking yesterday at an AEO awareness session with the private sector in Windhoek.

“The increased global trade and the dynamics in the international supply chain have created new demands on the role of customs administrations and other government agencies on trade facilitation. In this environment, the business community endeavours to move goods faster, at a reduced cost to maintain their competitiveness,” she added.

According to her, customs administrations and other government agencies are expected to improve the processing of an increased number of cargo with a lesser reliance on physical intervention and with greater efficiency and speed, without compromising the safety and security, revenue collection, and enforcement responsibilities.

The AEO status, she said, can be awarded to manufacturers, importers, exporters, brokers, carriers, consolidators, intermediaries, ports, airports, terminal operators, integrated operators, warehouses, distributors, and freight forwarders among others.

At the same occasion, the executive secretary of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Thabo Khasipe, said the AEO programme is one of SACU’s flagship trade facilitation and logistics programmes. 

“The overall objective of the AEO programme is to ease cross-border movement of accredited operators, to improve compliance, and efficiencies, and reduce the cost of doing business in SACU,” said Khasipe.

According to him, some of the AEO benefits for the private sector include speed, predictability, lower cost of cross-border trade, and prioritised treatment.

“I implore the Namibian business community to take advantage of this unique programme and apply for accreditation to maximise the identified benefits. The programme will also better position our private sector to be more competitive and help maximise the opportunities accruing from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA),” he concluded. 

2023-03-31  Maihapa Ndjavera

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