Au­tho­rised eco­nomic oper­a­tor pro­gramme

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

ZIM­BABWE has im­ple­mented the Au­tho­rised Eco­nomic Oper­a­tor (AEO) pro­gramme in line with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. This is pro­vided for in Sec­tion 216B of the Cus­toms and Ex­cise Act [Chap­ter 23:02].

An “Au­tho­rised Eco­nomic Oper­a­tor” is any en­tity in­volved in the move­ment of goods in­ter­na­tion­ally in ac­cor­dance with terms and con­di­tions, as well as func­tions set and ap­proved by the Zim­babwe Rev­enue Au­thor­ity (ZIMRA) as com­ply­ing with World Cus­toms Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WCO) or equiv­a­lent sup­ply chain se­cu­rity stan­dards. Au­tho­rised Eco­nomic Op­er­a­tors in­clude, in­ter alia man­u­fac­tur­ers, im­porters, ex­porters, clear­ing agents, car­ri­ers, con­sol­ida­tors, in­ter­me­di­aries, ports, air­ports, ter­mi­nal op­er­a­tors, in­te­grated op­er­a­tors, ware­houses and dis­trib­u­tors. Ben­e­fits of AEO Sta­tus En­hanced com­pli­ance

Sim­pli­fied Cus­toms pro­ce­dures and dec­la­ra­tions

Fewer phys­i­cal and doc­u­ment-based con­trols

Pri­or­ity treat­ment of con­sign­ments if se­lected for con­trol

Choice of the place of con­trols

Ex­tra ser­vices

Spe­cial mea­sures re­lat­ing to pe­ri­ods of trade dis­rup­tions

First con­sid­er­a­tion in query res­o­lu­tion

Pos­si­bil­ity of waiver/ re­duced guar­an­tees

Im­proved re­la­tions with ZIMRA

Recog­ni­tion as a se­cure and safe busi­ness part­ner Who can be an AEO? Any man­u­fac­turer, im­porter, ex­porter, clear­ing at­ten­dance agent, car­rier, con­sol­ida­tor, in­ter­me­di­ary, port, air­port, ter­mi­nal oper­a­tor, in­te­grated oper­a­tor, ware­house, and dis­trib­u­tor who meet stan­dards as out­lined in the gov­ern­ing leg­is­la­tion. Qual­i­fi­ca­tion Cri­te­ria Any per­son in­ter­ested in ben­e­fit­ting from the AEO pro­gramme should ap­ply for au­tho­ri­sa­tion in writ­ing to the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of ZIMRA, which shall be granted af­ter de­tailed pre-cer­ti­fi­ca­tion ver­i­fi­ca­tion and val­i­da­tion. The ap­pli­ca­tion should be sent to the ZIMRA Of­fice near­est to the ap­pli­cant.

The ap­pli­cant should meet the fol­low­ing con­di­tions: Be es­tab­lished in Zim­babwe; Have ap­pro­pri­ate record of com­pli­ance with Cus­toms and other rel­e­vant laws;

Have a sat­is­fac­tory sys­tem of man­ag­ing com­mer­cial and, where ap­pro­pri­ate, trans­port records; Have proven fi­nan­cial sol­vency; and En­sure that there is gen­eral main­te­nance of ap­proved se­cu­rity and safety stan­dards.

Obli­ga­tions of an AEO The AEO is re­quired to; Keep proper records; En­sure that mem­bers of its staff con­duct their busi­ness in ac­cor­dance with the pro­ce­dures of the Act or any in­struc­tions given by the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of ZIMRA, or any of his officers;

En­sure a re­la­tion­ship of good faith is main­tained by his staff at all times in deal­ing with the Au­thor­ity;

Main­tain an ac­count­ing sys­tem which is in ac­cor­dance with the Gen­er­ally Ac­cepted Ac­count­ing Prac­tices ( GAAP) and which fa­cil­i­tates au­dit-based Cus­toms con­trol;

Al­low an of­fi­cer phys­i­cal and elec­tronic ac­cess to the in­for­ma­tion and doc­u­ments as pro­vided for in terms of Sec­tion 223 of the Cus­toms and Ex­cise Act;

Use com­pat­i­ble elec­tronic sys­tems for Cus­toms pro­ce­dures and com­mit to reg­u­larly up­grade the sys­tem;

En­sure that their premises are in con­form­ity with the ap­pro­pri­ate se­cu­rity and safety stan­dards. Im­por­tant Notes Clients should note that the ap­pli­ca­tion for AEO sta­tus shall only cover the le­gal en­tity of the ap­pli­cant and will not au­to­mat­i­cally ap­ply to a group of com­pa­nies. This im­plies that, if, for ex­am­ple, AEO sta­tus is granted to a clear­ing agent, this will not con­fer sim­i­lar sta­tus on the agent’s clients be­ing im­porters or ex­porters. The clients will be re­quired to ap­ply separately for the AEO sta­tus. For max­i­mum ben­e­fits to be de­rived, it would be ideal to have the whole sup­ply chain play­ers ob­tain the AEO sta­tus, for ex­am­ple, the clear­ing agent, the im­porter, the trans­porter, the tran­sit shed oper­a­tor/con­tainer de­pot oper­a­tor and the dis­trib­u­tor. Dis­claimer This ar­ti­cle was com­piled by the Zim­babwe Rev­enue Au­thor­ity for in­for­ma­tion pur­poses only. ZIMRA shall not ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for loss or dam­age aris­ing from use of ma­te­rial in this ar­ti­cle and no li­a­bil­ity will at­tach to the Zim­babwe Rev­enue Au­thor­ity.

Please tune in to Zi-FM Stereo ev­ery Wed­nes­day from 1930-2030 hours for dis­cus­sions on Cus­toms and Tax mat­ters.

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