The Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) between Taiwan and Japan was signed at the 43rd Taiwan-Japan Economic and Trade Conference held in Taipei on November 30, 2018. Through the Arrangement, the Customs administrations of Taiwan and Japan are able to mutually recognize each other’s AEO programs. Exporters awarded AEO status from Taiwan and Japan can both enjoy facilitated Customs clearances at borders.
The Arrangement was signed by Representative Mr. Chiou, I-Jen of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association and Representative Mr. OHASHI Mitsuo of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, while it was witnessed by Mr. Ye, Sung-Mau, Director of the Department of Customs Clearance Affairs of Taiwan Customs Administration and Mr. SAKAMOTO Kenichi, Director of the Customs Clearance Division of Japan Customs and Tariff Bureau.
Taiwan Customs Administration indicated that the inking of this Arrangement marked a significant milestone for Customs cooperation between both countries. In view of the fact that Japan is the 3rd largest trading partner of Taiwan and the trade volume between Taiwan and Japan in 2017 amounted to $62.7 billion, the MRA will bring substantial economic benefits to both sides. It is expected that, through working closely in a consistent manner, the two Customs administrations will further strengthen their cooperation on trade facilitation and supply chain security issues.
Taiwan Customs has implemented its AEO program since December 2009 and 717 AEOs have been granted as of today, including 362 general AEOs and 355 Safety and Security AEOs, whose import/export value accounts for 46% of its total trade volume. To maximize the advantage of its AEO program, Taiwan Customs already signed AEO MRAs with the United States, Singapore, Israel, Korea, and Australia in November 2012, July 2013, December 2013, December 2015, and September 2018 respectively. The signing of Japan-Taiwan AEO MRA during the 43rd Taiwan-Japan Economic and Trade Conference was made just after the Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters (CMAA) was concluded during the 42nd Conference held last year. The fact that two bilateral Customs cooperation agreements were consecutively signed within one year symbolizes the close, steadfast friendship between Customs administrations of both sides.
Taiwan Customs Administration further indicated that exporters awarded Safety and Security AEO status would be directly benefited from the newly signed MRA. More specifically, the AEO-certified traders from both countries would be able to enjoy the same level of facilitation for their goods exported to the other side, whose competitiveness would then be significantly enhanced in an environment ensuring supply chain security, and favoring just-in-time & zero-inventory logistics management. This, in turn, would have a far-reaching influence on the bilateral trade, helping bring the economic prosperity of both countries to another new dimension.