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EU-US mutually recognise ‘safe traders’

The EU and the United States of America formally agreed to recognise each other’s safe traders, thereby allowing these companies to benefit from faster controls and reduced administration for customs clearance, as a result of a mutual recognition decision signed by both parties. EU and U.S. certified trusted traders will enjoy lower costs, simplified procedures and greater predictability in their transatlantic activities. Mutual recognition will also improve security on imports and exports, by enabling customs authorities to focus their attention on real risk areas.

What this means in practical terms is that the U.S.-EU Mutual Recognition Decision officially recognizes the compatibility of the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and the EU’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program.  USCIB has long encouraged an agreement between the U.S. and EU that would recognize compatibility between the U.S. and EU cargo security programs.

There are currently some five thousand companies approved as Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) in the EU – a number which is growing year on year. The EU and USA are strategic trade partners, with imports and exports accounting for almost €500 billion in 2011. The joint decision will start to be implemented from 1 July 2012.