Merger of ACP & AEO into Tier based AEO Programme

The Central Board of Excise & Customs has decided to merge the two facilitation schemes namely ACP and AEO into a combined three-tier AEO programme, and also enhance the scope of these programmes so as to provide further benefits to the entities who have demonstrated strong internal control system and willingness to comply with the laws administered by the Central Board of Excise and Customs vide Circular No. 33/2016-Customs, dated 22.07.2016. 

CBEC Circulars No. 42/2005 dated 24.11.2005 as amended regarding the ACP scheme and No. 28/2012-Customs dated 16.11.2012 regarding AEO programme stand superseded with issue of Circular No. 33/2016-Customs, dated 22.07.2016 (Tier Based Indian AEO Programme)

All the entities already certified under AEO Programme pursuant to Circular No 37/2011-Cus., dated 23.08.2011 and No. 28/2012-Customs dated 16.11.2012 has been accorded the status of AEO-T2 or AEO-LO, as the case may be, and are entitled to benefits as per this circular subject to their adherence to prescribed standards and guidelines issued in this regard.

All the existing ACP clients who have been granted ACP status in terms of the erstwhile ACP circulars and who continue to possess such status validly have been provisionally granted AEO-T1 Certificate by the AEO Programme Manager and thereafter, they are entitled for benefits of AEO-T1. They shall remain AEO-T1 certificate holders till the validity period mentioned in their ACP renewal /granting letter. Thereafter, they will have to follow renewal procedure as prescribed in this circular.

All such ACP clients shall have an opportunity to submit applications for grant of AEO Certificates in terms of this circular within 90 days of issue of this circular. In case, they are not found to be eligible for the AEO Certificates, they would no longer be entitled to the benefits of AEO-T1.


MRA between India and South Korea signed on 08.10.2015

India and South Korea on Thursday inked an Authorised Economic Operator Mutual Recognition Agreement (AEO-MRA) on 08.10.2015. The deal was signed on the sidelines of the 11th Asia Europe meeting of Directors General-Commissioners of Customs.

The agreement signed between the Indian and South Korean Customs Commissioners culminates more than two-and-a-half years of negotiations over the agreement. "MRAs recognise the AEO programme of each other's customs administrations and extends benefits to trade on reciprocal basis," said Najeeb Shah, chairman of the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

It is a key element to strengthen and maintain security of international supply chains and serves as a useful tool to avoid duplication of security and compliance controls. Thus, it is extremely important that customs administrations do get into such agreements, he added.

"I am happy to note that finally the constructive engagement of both the countries is leading to the conclusion and we announce signing the MRA. "I do believe that the signing of the MRA should boost bilateral trade between our two countries and will usher in new dimensions of bilateral relations between both the countries," Shah added.

The MRA will ensure that Indian AEO exporters, who enter Korea, will be given extensive benefits in terms of speedy clearance lesser examination and checks. Similarly, a party which is recognised by the Korean customs administration as being compliant will be extended benefits in India. "We hope that this will enhance trade between the two countries and be mutually beneficial to both the countries," Shah added.

India signs MRA on AEO Programme with Hong Kong

Hong Kong and India Customs sign Arrangement to mutually recognize respective Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programmes on 28th November, 2013.

Under the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA), Indian companies which have been certified by the CBEC as AEOs can enjoy clearance facilitation provided by the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED), Hong Kong for their goods exported from or imported to India. Similarly, local companies accredited by the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED), Hong Kong as Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) can enjoy clearance facilitation, such as reduced examination or prioritized clearance, for their goods imported from or exported to India.