In June 26, 2012, the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) through Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 1-2012 established an “Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program for Exporters”. The specific rules and regulations for the Program is provided in Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) Nos. 11-2012 and 14-2013.

The objectives of the Program are as follows:

  1. 1. To comply with the Commitment of the Philippines to implement the World Customs Organization (WCO) Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE Framework);
  2. 2. To establish a voluntary certification program, initially for exporters, to be known as the AEO Philippines Program, consistent and aligned with the WCO’s AEO Program which shall be administered by the BOC to help certain economic operators in the international supply chain adopt acceptable control measures to enhance the security of such chain;
  3. 3. To enhance BOC-Business partnership on trade security and trade facilitation based on trust and mutual respect;
  4. 4. To establish accreditation procedures that offer certain benefits and incentives to certain economic operators considered as BOC’s trusted allies.

Initially, the Program applied only to exporters within the Clark Freeport Zone and within the jurisdiction of the Port of Clark. It will subsequently cover exporters in other selected air/sea ports.

Aside from the consequent benefits resulting from the implementation of robust security measures in the forms of increased visibility of goods in the supply chain, reduction in pilferages and greater efficiency in their supply chain management, companies accredited under the AEO-Philippines Program shall be recognized as trusted allies by the BOC and shall be entitled to the flowing benefits:

  1. 1. Dedicated processing lanes for AEO accredited exporters resulting in reduced processing period;
  2. 2. Renewal of accreditation as exporter not on an annual basis but for a longer period;
  3. 3. Last priority on post-entry audit;
  4. 4. Recognition as a low risk company i.e. enhanced branding;
  5. 5. Reduced inspection or expedited clearance by other Customs authorities should be certified status be also recognized by overseas countries under a mutual recognition program established by bilateral or multilateral arrangement; and
  6. 6. Such other trade facilitation benefits that may be afforded by BOC under existing laws and regulations.

The AEO Program under CMO No. 14-2013 shall be administered by the Port concerned under the direct supervision by a Committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner for Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group (AOCG). The Committee shall be in charge of accrediting AEOs, gathering and evaluating relevant data for the implementation of the AEO Program in the Country, conducting consultations with the private sector/stakeholders, establishing and enhancing benefits and incentives of the AEO Program and to review, revised and draft rules and regulations for the Program. It shall perform such other functions necessary for the implementation of the AEO Program.

The minimum standards for a Company to apply for the Program as well as requirements for accreditation are provided in CMO Nos. 11-2012 and 14-2013.

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