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Saudi Customs launches Approved Economic Operator program

JEDDAH: Saudi Customs has launched the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program to enhance partnership with the private sector and encourage teamwork to facilitate trade and customs procedures.

The AEO program will improve trade procedures for exporters, importers, customs trustees, carriers, shipping agents and other trade facilities in the logistics sector. The program will facilitate trade between the Kingdom and other countries. It also has procedural and priority advantages in all customs procedures.

The program also offers security advantages, such as minimizing spot checks and sample analysis. General advantages of the AEO also include benefiting from the features offered by similar programs in other countries through mutual recognition, and the possibility of using the AEO logo in marketing.

Moreover, there will be a special account for the trading facility to deal with any challenges that face export and import operations.

Saudi Customs invited relevant parties to register through its website. Registration conditions stipulate that the facility should have a suitable three-year record for customs obligations before applying. They also stipulate the availability of suitable administrative and financial rules which allow for imposing proper customs controls on shipping documents, and a proven financial capability of the facility.

Saudi Customs declared that there is no time limit for the facility which has already been approved as an authorized economic operator, but the suitability criteria will continuously be monitored. Re-checking will be done at least once every five years or according to the results of continuous assessment and monitoring.

The launch of the Saudi AEO follows the implementation of a 24-hour customs clearance policy, which has been successful in many maritime customs outlets in its first stage. The time needed to finalize customs procedures has been reduced from 14 days to less than 48 hours.

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