AEO Expert Mission and Symposium for ASEAN and Hong Kong, China successfully concludes with fruitful results (with photos)

30 Nov 2023

The AEO Expert Mission and Symposium for ASEAN and Hong Kong, China, the first large-scale event focused on the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) matters held between ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and Hong Kong, China since the launch of the Hong Kong AEO Programme by the Customs and Excise Department of Hong Kong (C&ED) in 2012, successfully concluded today (November 30).

The AEO Symposium for ASEAN and Hong Kong, China was held today as the highlight of the event. Around 200 representatives from ASEAN Member States, Customs administrations of Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao, government officials, the business sector, trade associations, took part in the Symposium today to foster discussions and exchange insights with stakeholders in trade facilitation and business development in the ASEAN region and Mainland China.

The Symposium today started off with an opening ceremony officiated by the Principal Guests of Honour, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Algernon Yau; the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Ms Louise Ho; the Head of Trade Facilitation Division of ASEAN Secretariat, Mr Cuong Ba Tran; the Director General of Macao Customs Service, Mr Vong Man-chong; the Deputy Director General of the Department of Enterprise Management and Audit-based Control of the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC), Mr Zhu Fang and representatives of ASEAN Member States.

During the Symposium, the C&ED concluded the Action Plans for AEO Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) with Customs administrations of Cambodia and the Philippines. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Enhancing AEO Co-operation in the Greater Bay Area among Mainland, Hong Kong and Macao Customs was also signed by representatives from the GACC, the C&ED and Macao Customs Service, witnessed by Mr Yau, Ms Ho and Mr Vong.

The Symposium continued with the presentation of Hong Kong AEO Partnership Awards to Hong Kong AEOs in recognition of their excellent performance on promoting the Hong Kong AEO Programme.

It was followed by panel sessions in which representatives from the Government and business sectors fostered discussions on the opportunities and challenges of extending business in the markets of ASEAN and Mainland China.

The two-day AEO Expert Mission and Symposium has yielded fruitful results. First, the C&ED has successfully concluded the Action Plans for MRA with the Customs administrations of Cambodia and the Philippines, marking a significant step towards the conclusion of MRAs in a near future. Second, consensus has been reached that Customs administrations of ASEAN Member States and Hong Kong, China share a common vision to safeguard security and safety in the supply chain. They will further enhance co-operation on matters regarding AEO programmes and pressing ahead with the MRA. Third, the signing of the MoU on Enhancing AEO Co-operation in the Greater Bay Area among Mainland Customs, Hong Kong Customs and Macao Customs will further strengthen the co-operation of the three administrations in implementing the AEO Programme in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and thereby bringing more benefits to the AEOs and fostering further development in the region.

The Hong Kong AEO Programme was launched in 2012. Currently, the C&ED has ratified MRAs with 14 Customs administrations of the Mainland, India, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Canada, Mexico, Indonesia and Macao, China. Under the MRA, AEOs from the signatory countries or regions can enjoy reciprocal trade facilitations including reduced inspection rate and prioritised clearance.

Ends/Thursday, November 30, 2023

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