This project seeks to address SMEs opportunities and challenges in Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) certification and Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) that can be achieved among APEC member economies. The primary objective is to actively incorporate SMEs in the international trade through their engagement in AEO programs and the related benefits involved in the programs and MRAs.
This report consolidates the outcomes of the project implementation in two phases: Phase 1 began with the first workshop involving the private sector and policy makers to discuss and assess entry barriers that SMEs might be facing when applying to an AEO certification, how to take advantage of APEC’s MRAs network to promote benefits for SMEs, and a stocktake on the status of MRAs in the APEC region. Phase 2 involved a survey focusing on an AEO benefits based on the WCO’s SAFE Framework of Standards in Pillar 3 implementation status and a customs time release comparison study on AEO MRAs. A second workshop was held in Chinese Taipei to present the study outcomes.