Status of the authorized economic operator as a marker of investment growth of Ukraine
Yuriy Draganchuk, Deputy Minister of Finance of Ukraine
On July 29, the Government adopted a resolution developed by the Ministry of Finance together with the State Customs Service, which will allow the practical implementation of the program of authorized economic operators (AEO) in Ukraine.
AEO status is a formalized sign of the highest trust in the company by the customs authorities.
Authorization of AEO can be of two types: the granting of the right to apply special simplifications (AEO-C) and the confirmation of security and safety (AEO-B).
The company independently chooses the type of authorization and can have both types of authorization at the same time. AEO authorization is recognized throughout Ukraine, is provided free of charge and is valid indefinitely.
An enterprise with the status of AEO gets the opportunity to apply special simplifications and use the benefits when completing customs formalities for the goods it moves.
The AEO Institute was established by the World Customs Organization in 2005 through the adoption of the SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade. Today AEO programs are implemented in 83 countries. Another 19 are being implemented.
For Ukraine, the AEO program will be a tool to increase the efficiency of doing business, improve the marketing status of the company, which will be able to take advantage of AEO status.
AEO status will allow well-doing companies to reduce time and material costs for customs formalities by approximately 30%. After all, delays at the border will be less, as, in fact, the cost of customs terminals.
The mentioned decision of the Government approved the procedure and algorithm for assessing compliance with the criteria of the AEO, the form of documents to be submitted by enterprises and issued by customs authorities to obtain this status.
To obtain AEO authorization, an enterprise must submit an application and a self-assessment questionnaire in the form of electronic documents to the State Customs Service. At the first stage - through the official e-mail of the State Customs Service.
At the same time (within 120 days from the date of entry into force of the resolution) the State Customs Service will create an IT-tool for the practical operation of the AEO.
Within 30 days from the date of registration of such documents in the State Customs Service will carry out their preliminary consideration. Based on the results, a decision will be made to assess the company's compliance with the AEO criteria or to refuse such an assessment.
It should be considered that in the case of a decision on conformity assessment, the company must be prepared for this. For example, such a criterion as "proper accounting system, commercial and transport documentation" involves its verification on the spot, with the departure of the commission to the relevant facilities.
During such a departure, the company must provide the commission with documents confirming the answers in the self-assessment questionnaire. Customs authorities may also interview employees on certain issues to confirm the information to be assessed for AEO status.
Assessment of the company's compliance with the criteria of the AEO is carried out within 120 days from the date of the decision. If the enterprise according to the conclusion meets the criteria, the State Customs Service will decide to grant authorization to the AEO.
At the same time, I draw the attention of enterprises to the need for careful preparation of documents submitted to obtain the authorization of the AEO. After all, in case of refusal the next time such documents will be considered in the State Customs Service not earlier than in six months.
During the first year, in order to gain experience, the customs authorities will be able to process no more than 10 applications for AEO status at a time.
Information on the submitted applications (impersonal, only in the form of serial numbers of applications) and the status of their consideration will be provided by the State Customs Service on the official website. This level of transparency will allow applicants to monitor the status of their implementation.
During the second (from November 8, 2020) and third (from November 8, 2021) years, the number of applications and conformity assessment will increase to 20 and 30, respectively.
It is important that the government decree is developed taking into account the EU Guidelines on AEO (AEO Guidelines) and European practice, as well as the expectations of the European Commission, business associations, international experts. In the future, this will allow Ukraine to implement agreements on mutual recognition of AEO status (AEO MRA).
The implementation of the AEO program in Ukraine and the conclusion of agreements on mutual recognition of AEO status will facilitate the entry of Ukrainian business involved in international supply chains into the EU markets and, potentially, 56 countries around the world.