The Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Clement Cheung, attended the 125th/126th Council Sessions of the World Customs Organization (WCO) held in Brussels, Belgium yesterday (June 11). Mr Cheung also signed two collaborative arrangements with the Director-General of Thai Customs, Dr Somchai Sujjapongse, and the Director-General of Malagasy Customs, Mr Eric Narivony Rabenja, during the meeting.
The one signed with Thai Customs was the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA), which aims to mutually recognise the respective Authorized Economic Operator Programmes of Hong Kong and Thailand.
Under the 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 their goods imported from or exported to Thailand. Reciprocally, the C&ED will provide the same facilitative arrangements to companies certified by Thai Customs as AEOs.
This is the fifth MRA that the C&ED has concluded with other Customs administrations after the ones with the Mainland, India, Korea and Singapore.
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 the formal launch of the AEO Programme in April 2012, the C&ED has so far accredited 28 companies as AEOs including multinational companies and local SMEs.
In addition, Mr Cheung also signed a Customs Co-operative Arrangement (CCA) with Malagasy Customs, which is the 23rd CCA that C&ED has ratified with other Customs administrations. On the basis of the CCA, both sides will work closely to foster a stronger enforcement partnership, and provide administrative assistance to each other for combating transnational crimes in the Customs regime more effectively.
Ends/Friday, June 12, 2015