AGEXPORT’s Integrated Exports Services commission (SIEX), with support from the European Union’s AL-Invest 5.0 program, the Tax Administration Superintendence and the Chamber of Industry organized the 2nd edition of the Authorized Economic Operator Congress.
More than 150 exporting and importing firms attended the 2018 Economic Operator Congress, an event that looked to promote this global trade certification as well as display progresses achieved on the Harmonization Agreement of Customs Services of Central America and Panama. The Authorized Economic Operator is a public-private strategic alliance to boost competitiveness as it considers certified companies as secure, trustable and financially solvent in the eyes of national and international customs authorities.
The Authorized Economic Operator is a competitiveness tool that eases and speeds up trade, reducing times and costs at customs. The 2nd edition of the AEO Congress looks to have more companies certified with this tool and have public and private institutions working jointly to raise the country’s competitiveness, said Mr. Antonio Malouf, AGEXPORT’s President.
Experts from El Salvador, Panama, Peru, Mexico and Colombia gave conferences on topics like the importance of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) as a competitiveness tool; harmonization of customs businesses in Central America and its benefits, success stories of importing and exporting firms, best practices of businesses in the implementation of the AEO.
At the Customs Intendency we have set competitiveness as our strategic vision. Therefore, we seek to promote international tools developed by the World Customs Organization and the World Trade Organization that give positive results internationally. One of this is the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO). We expect to increase the number of firms being recognized as AEOs as well as harmonize customs services with other countries in the region in order to raise the country’s competitiveness. Nevertheless, this must be a joint effort between public and private institutions with the common goal of looking for a higher development of the country. All our efforts need to be set on achieving this goal, said the Customs Intendent Mr. Werner Ovalle.
Since 2010, 24 Guatemalan companies have been certified as AEOs and these companies have become strategic allies of customs authorities.
Consolidating the Authorized Economic Operator in Guatemala will promote security on trade operations in the country and would benefit certified companies as well as provide higher economic stability. At the Chamber of Industry, we are looking to help our members to understand this tool as a differentiating factor with benefits not only for the country but to businesses themselves, said Mr. Javier Zepeda, CEO of the Chamber of Industry.
Three companies were recognized during the event: CROPA, INDUSTRIA LA POPULAR AND GRUPO VICAL, which are now certified as Authorized Economic Operators and accredited as trustable and secure businesses for Guatemala’s customs authorities as well as to other countries with which Guatemala signs harmonization agreements.
AGEXPORT’s Integrated Exports Services commission will continue its work to raise Guatemala´s competitiveness in global markets and support public and private institutions to promote the AEO, said Mrs. Leticia Salazar, president of AGEXPORT’s Export Services commission.
Along the benefits of being certified as AEO are: expedited access to customs services, simplified declarations to enter or take away goods, lower physical controls and documentations; all of this implying lower times and costs spent in customs.