Six ASEAN Nations to Pilot Test Authorized Economic Operator Mutual Recognition Agreement
On September 19, Customs administration of all 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) signed the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) for the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program. In line with the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025, the ASEAN AEO MRA (AAMRA) aims to achieve a highly integrated and cohesive ASEAN economy by strengthening supply chain connectivity through predictable and transparent trading. Under the AAMRA, businesses will enjoy increased cost savings, faster cargo clearance, and reduced administrative burdens. The AAMRA is expected to be fully implemented by the third quarter of 2024.
As early as December 2023, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand will commence a six-month pilot test of the AAMRA. During this period, participating companies will benefit from reduced document checks and priority physical cargo inspections aimed at providing smoother clearance processes within ASEAN. The six aforementioned countries have completed the joint assessments of their respective national AEO programs, ensuring compatibility and alignment with the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards. Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam are set to join the next test in 2024 after similar preparations are completed.
Last May, the Council and EU-ASEAN Business Council co-hosted a dialogue with the Sub-Working Group on ASEAN AEO MRA to promote best practices for AEO implementation.