Singapore and China’s Mutual Recognition Becomes a Reality

Director-General of Singapore Customs Fong Yong Kian and Vice Minister of the General Administration of China Customs Sun Yibiao (both seated), signed the China-Singapore MRA at the WCO Council Sessions in June 2012. The signing was witnessed by Chairperson of the WCO Council and Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners of Ireland, Josephine Feehily and WCO Secretary-General   Kunio Mikuriya.

Director-General of Singapore Customs Fong Yong Kian and Vice Minister of the General Administration of China Customs Sun Yibiao (both seated), signed the China-Singapore MRA at the WCO Council Sessions in June 2012. The signing was witnessed by Chairperson of the WCO Council and Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners of Ireland, Josephine Feehily and WCO Secretary-General Kunio Mikuriya.

General Administration of Customs of Singapore has announced that the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA), signed with Customs of the People’s Republic of China went into effect on March 15, 2013.  Following the effective date, both Singapore’s STP-Plus companies and China’s Class AA accredited companies will be recognized as Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) of the respective countries.

This recognition as AEOs allows Customs from both countries to grant clearance facilitation for accredited AEOs such as lower examination rates, priority inspections, and priority handling of customs clearance documents at each country’s port.  Included in the announcement were specific instructions for how importers in both Singapore and China should fill out customs forms when receiving exported goods from one of their respective AEOs.

For goods exported directly to Singapore from a Chinese Class AA company, the Chinese exporter would need to provide the Singapore importer with the 10-digit Customs Registration Code to place on their import declarations to Singapore along with inputting the “AEO code” into the portal for mutual recognition purposes and benefits of AEO.  The AEO code is comprised of “AEO”, “CN” and the 10-digit Customs Registration Code.

For goods exported to China from a Singapore STP-Plus company, the Chinese importer must fill in the “AEO code” of the Singapore’s exporter in the “remark column” in their import declarations to receive mutual recognition benefits.  The format for the AEO code is as follows:  “AEO (written in English half-width characters and capital letters)” plus “<” plus “SG” plus “12-digit AEO code” plus “>”.  For instance, if the AEO code of one Singapore STP-Plus company is AEOSG123456789012, then the remark column filled in by the Chinese importer would read as “AEO”.

The MRA signed between China and Singapore is but one example of several security programs in different countries making it easier for trusted traders to move goods through the supply chain. Other countries that also participate in MRAs include:

  • US Customs & Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) which has MRAs in place with Canada’s Partners in Protection (PIP), New Zealand’s Secure Export Scheme Program (SES), Jordan’s Golden List Program (GLP), Japan’s Authorized Economic Operator Program (AEO), Korea’s AEO, and the European Union’s ( EU) AEO
  • European Union (EU) AEO which has MRAs in place with Canada’s PIP, Japan’s AEO, Australia’s AEO, New Zealand’s SES, and US C-TPAT
  • Japan Customs has MRAs in place with New Zealand’s SES, EU’s AEO, Canada’s PIP, Korea’s AEO, and Singapore’s STP-Plus
  • Singapore Customs has signed MRAs in place with Canada’s PIP, Korea’s AEO, Japan’s AEO, and China’s Class AA

Part of participating in any security program is the ability to assess and manage risk across the supply chain.  This includes soliciting and analysing information received from every partner within the supply chain to corrective actions and best practices.  While are security programs are still voluntary in nature, companies that take advantage of them are reaping benefits such as faster customs clearance and less inspections. Source: Integration Point

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Mauritius Customs turns 200

Mauritius Customs 1st Day CoverOn the ocassion of my 300th post, join me in raising the Portcullis for Mauritius Customs! During September, the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) marked the bicentenary celebrations of Customs services in Mauritius by launching a special First Day Cover with four stamps on the Customs Department to mark the bicentenary celebrations of Customs Services in Mauritius. The issue of these new stamps is an acknowledgement of the significant contribution of the Customs services to the economic and social life of the country for more than 200 years. The four stamps depict the Customs Services in different fields with denotation of Rs 7, Rs 8, Rs 20 and Rs 25 illustrating some of the areas where the customs services are involved in their fight against crime and fraud prevention through the use of people, animals and state-of-the-art technology.

On 18 August 1797, a ‘bureau de Douane’ was established for the purpose of raising revenue in a context of war and blockade. It became a major financial institution contributing towards 50% of total revenue. The British took over in 1811 and installed the first Collector of Customs.British Customs practices were gradually introduced in the colony in line with British commercial law.

In modern times, the MRA Customs Department has set as one of its main objective to combat the illicit trade of drug and other illicit substances. The MRA has a team of 6 drug detector dogs handled by certified dog handlers trained by the French Customs and the South African Revenue Services (SARS). Our dogs have been selected carefully from examined litters and were declared competent drug detector dogs as per SAQA Unit Standard in the handling of a service to detect illicit substances.

Since 2008, our sniffer dogs have detected drugs in 25 instances involving the import of Cannabis, Heroin, Hashish, Subutex and other illegal substances worth around Rs 42,530,543. The Drug Detector Dog squad operates at the courier services, Parcel Post Office, Vehicle Search at Airport, Port and Freight Stations, Port area, Airport (Plaisance Air Transport Services & Luggage on carrousels at SSR Int. Airport and Aircraft search) as well as at the seaport for search of vessels. Source: Mauritius Revenue Authority