The Regional Workshop in Enhancing and Accelerating the Implementation of the AEO Program in Central Asia was held on 31 October – 1 November 2023 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It was attended by representatives from the customs authorities of the CAREC countries, AEO experts from Korea Customs Service, Indonesia Customs, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Moldova, development partners, staff, and consultants of ADB.
The objective of the workshop was to discuss the basic principles of the AEO program, to gain a better understanding of the main obstacles and bottlenecks that may hinder further development in making the AEO program effective and dynamic, to convey a holistic approach to implementing an efficient and effective AEO program citing best practices of other countries in designing the criteria for accreditation for multiple levels, important areas for Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) negotiations, inclusion of other potential operators to benefit from the AEO scheme and to assist CAREC countries that do not have AEO programs in mapping their needs in each identified area.
Ms. Kanokpan (Gem) Lao-Araya, Country Director of the ADB Resident Mission in Uzbekistan and Deputy Chairman of State Customs Committee Musamukhamedov Nodir Kamalitdinovich co-delivered the opening remarks. AEO experts from Japan Customs, Korea Customs Service, Indonesia Customs, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Moldova, and representatives from the World Customs Organization and International Trade Centre shared experiences in the development and implementation of AEO programs.
Among CAREC countries, significant progress was noted in their development and implementation of the AEO program, including paperless trade digitalization, expedited clearance, and customs-centric risk management. In a survey conducted among CAREC countries, nine respondents expressed their interest in joining an AEO program’s pilot project and agreed that the AEO program would provide impetus to enhance customs-business partnership on trade security and trade facilitation based on trust and mutual respect.
Supported under KSTA 9824: Better Customs for Better Client Services in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Countries, co-funded by the Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund; the PRC Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund; United Kingdom Fund for Asia Regional Trade and Connectivity, and Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund.