China and Israel signed an AEO mutual recognition agreement in Beijing on Nov. 7.
Israel, as a strategic link between Asia and Europe, is an important country taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as a major trade partner of China. In the first 10 months of this year, trade between China and Israel totaled88.67 billion yuan (US$13.36 billion), up 69.59 percent year-on-year.
According to the World Customs Organization (WCO), an authorized economic operator (AEO) is “a party involved in the international movement of goods in whatever function that has been approved by, or on behalf of a national Customs administration as complying with WCO or equivalent supply chain security standards. Authorized Economic Operators include inter alia manufacturers, importers, exporters, brokers, carriers, consolidators, intermediaries, ports, airports, terminal operators, integrated operators, warehouses and distributors”.
To deepen trade and customs cooperation, and to facilitate trade and interconnectivity under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, customs authorities from the two countries initiated AEO negotiations from early 2014.To date three work conferences have been held from 2014 to 2017, to wrap up negotiations on key areas.
The General Administration of Customs of China established the AEO system in 2008. China has reached AEO mutual recognition agreements with 34 countries and regions, including the European Union, New Zealand, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, etc.
Statistics show that inspection rates dropped by 60 to 80 percent, and the customs clearance costs decreased by over 50 percent on average for goods exported by Chinese AEO enterprises to China’s AEO partners.
China is now engaged in AEO negotiations with Russia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Turkey and Mongolia, all important countries on the Silk Road Economic Belt or the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, as well as the United States and Japan, China’s major trade partners. China plans to become AEO partners with all countries along the Belt and Road routes by 2020.