As the final event of the year 2018, a regional conference entitled „Promoting Mutual Recognition of AEO in the CEFTA Context“ was organized in Belgrade, Serbia. The two-day conference gathered more that 100 participants from the public institutions and private sector from all CEFTA parties and the EU, renowned international AEO experts and international organizations’ representatives.
CEFTA Parties face different challenges when it comes to AEO programme development, implementation and maintenance. The key objective of the Conference was to provide a forum to inform about and discuss the AEO Programme objectives and requirements, benefits for the Customs and private sector, as well as framework for the Mutual Recognition of AEOs, bringing together the EU and CEFTA public and private sector perspective and experiences.
During the first day a variety of topics were covered as the discussion points, including the current position of AEO and MRA today in the EU and CEFTA and future perspectives, the benefits and challenges of the AEO for both Customs and the private sector, the new AEO paradigm with holistic approach for better benefits and higher compliance, as well as the role of Mutual Recognition of AEOs in strengthening and securing international trade. On the second day of the conference two main topics were covered, i.e. the cooperation with other government authorities at national and regional level: multiagency approach to AEO Programme implementation and Challenges and benefits for the private sector involved in AEO and MRA practices and possibilities.
The conference provided an opportunity for technical level discussion and sharing of experiences and best regional and EU practices and strategic objectives. Likewise, the discussion provided an opportunity for the other CEFTA Parties that have yet to implement an AEO programme to identify key areas for implementation and/or improvement. One of the main conclusions of the conference was the importance of good and active communication between the public and private sector in the process of obtaining and keeping the AEO status.