Authorized Economic Operator

Authorized Economic Operator (AEO)

Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) is a program based on partnership concept between Customs and businesses to strengthen the international supply chain security and provide more trade facilitation benefits. It is the global standard since its adoption by the World Customs Organization (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards by the WCO Council in 2005. It is also one of the components of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which entered into force on 22 February 2017.

Companies in the supply chain that have applied to the program and been validated are classified as low risk business partners and can therefore be trusted by Customs. These companies will receive significant benefits that will simplify their customs procedures, create more greater predictability for business activities at the border, and facilitate the movement of their goods to a lower cost.

Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) are a key part of the Saudi AEO Program and an important component that guide Customs administrations to help strengthen the security of the supply chain. MRAs are arrangements between two countries where they recognize each other's AEO programs and certified companies.

The WCO SAFE Framework of Standards calls upon countries to work together to use their AEO programs to enhance trade facilitation benefits by eliminating or reducing redundant or duplicated efforts.

MRAs are an important way for countries to formally work together to provide significant benefits to both the private sector and Customs Administrations as an AEO certified company in one country receives similar benefits in the partnering country.