FEAFFA appreciates the contribution trade facilitation plays in reducing the cost of moving cargo across the region. As such, it has made it a point to support all efforts intended to simplify and harmonize business processes. One such program is the Authorized economic operator (AEO) program.
With support from Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC), FEAFFA conducted a study to among other things, establish the challenges that have inhibited the uptake of the AEO scheme.
- Examine the issues that inhibit the uptake of the AEO scheme in the East African Community.
- Establish the composition of the AEO scheme (legal and regulatory framework, procedures, compliance, and supply chain security requirements), the successes, gaps, and draw policy recommendations that would enhance the growth of the AEO program across all stakeholders.
- Develop policy briefs that highlight the outcome of the study and possible interventions necessary.
- Through the study and other awareness creation conducted by FEAFFA, the 39th meeting of the EAC’s Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance, and Investment (SCTIFI) noted the need for more awareness to spur demand for the AEO program to meaningfully impact regional trade.
- The 39th meeting of the EAC’s Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance, and Investment (SCTIFI) also adopted the simplified AEO accreditation criteria to suit the MSMEs and directed the secretariat to undertake analysis for the purposes developing a harmonized framework for the thresholds for accrediting regional AEOs to determine the classification of MSMEs in the region.