Faster Customs clearance with ratification of Mutual Recognition Arrangement between Hong Kong and Singapore Customs (with photos)

27 Jun 2014

The Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Clement Cheung, and the Director-General of Singapore Customs, Mr Ho Chee Pong, signed an Arrangement at the World Customs Organization's 123rd/124th Council Sessions in Brussels today (June 27) to mutually recognise Hong Kong's Authorized Economic Operator Programme and Singapore's Secure Trade Partnership Programme.

Under the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA), local companies accredited by the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) as Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) can enjoy clearance facilitation, such as reduced examination or prioritised clearance, for goods exported to Singapore upon arrival. Similarly, Singapore companies which have been certified by Singapore Customs as Secure Trade Partners-Plus (equivalent to AEOs) will have their goods exported to Hong Kong expeditiously cleared.

Welcoming the MRA, Mr Cheung said at the signing ceremony, "This is the fourth MRA that we have concluded with other Customs administrations, after the Mainland, India and Korea. Singapore is one of the principal trading partners of Hong Kong. The facilitation measures under the MRA will assist local traders in accessing the Singapore market, through which Hong Kong-branded products and services are promoted in Singapore while enhancing the favourable image of Hong Kong brands. These bring more business opportunities to the import/export and logistics industries."

Participation in the Hong Kong AEO Programme is free, open and voluntary. Any local company engaging in business principally related to the international supply chain is welcome to apply. Since its implementation in April 2012, the C&ED has accredited 18 companies as AEOs including multinational companies and local small and medium-sized enterprises.

The C&ED aspires to further contribute to the security and facilitation of global trade and will continue to take active steps to develop MRAs with other Customs administrations with a view to enabling traders to enjoy more clearance benefits at an international level.

Ends/Friday, June 27, 2014

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