4th WCO Global AEO Conference
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Recognized as the largest WCO capacity building event, the WCO AEO Global Conference boasts the largest number of workshops held during an event, covering a variety of topics related to the security and facilitation of the global trade supply chain. The conference is organized by the WCO once every two years in partnership with a host Customs administration and provides a key platform for all players who have an interest in international trade.


 It is interesting to note that when the first conference was held in 2012, there were 45 AEO programmes in the world, and this number had increased to 77 in 2017, with many more under development. The number of MRAs concluded in 2012 was 17, and this number had risen to 49 in 2017. In 2012, 30 MRAs were under negotiation, and this number had increased to 46 in 2017, of which are multilateral negotiations. Between 2012 and 2017, the percentage increase in the number of concluded MRAs is 188%, while the number of AEO programmes has increased by 71% and the number of signed MRAs by 23%.


The 4 Global AEO Conference provides unique opportunity for all those interested to examine challenges of today and opportunities ahead of AEO on national, regional and global level.


The Global AEO Conference, aimed at Customs administrations, the business community, government and multilateral policymakers, and legal and academic representatives, focuses on the successes and challenges of Customs and the private sector in implementing AEO programmes. The event is expected to enhance cooperation, while building capacity, in order to foster a global public-private dialogue.


The Global AEO Conference will be hosted by the Uganda Revenue Authority in Kampala, Uganda from 14 to 16 March 2018, with the theme “Promoting Mutual Recognition of AEOs to Strengthen and Secure Global Trade.” This will be the 4th WCO region to host the event since its inception with the support from the Korea Customs Service.


This conference will showcase AEO programmes and MRAs that have been successfully implemented. It will also focus on how MRAs can further secure global trade, while continuing to address the opportunities and challenges surrounding AEO/MRA issues. Delegates who attend the conference will have an opportunity to:




           participate in a large number of workshops, addressing a variety of international trade issues from different perspectives;


           discuss global supply chain security and facilitation, including how AEOs can enhance compliance and improve revenue collection;


           watch interesting live demonstrations, focusing on operational practices directly related to international trade;


           contribute to the future development of the SAFE Framework, ensuring that it remains an up-to-date and relevant’ document;


           witness the possible signing of a few more MRAs between African partners, encouraging other countries around the world to follow the same route.




The WCO would like to invite you to join us in Uganda at the 4th Global AEO Conference, where participants will have the opportunity to experience African hospitality, and take in the splendour of the country, known as the ‘Pearl of Africa,’ as well as the allure of the African continent and its world-renowned wildlife. Everyone is welcome at this upcoming global event. Please direct any enquiries to the email at the end of this article.


Why attend:


LEARN about successful implementation of AEO and MRA across the world and to look ahead to future developments in conditions of challenging and competitive global trading system.


Hear from leading experts on relevant WCO tools and instruments and new opportunities for enchasing cross-border cooperation in this area.


UNDERSTAND the current international trade challenges, in the context of increased security requirements and discuss how law enforcement instruments and tools could be efficiently implemented in a manner that does not undermine the ongoing trade facilitation efforts.


Extensive Conference program will facilitate discussions on inter-agency collaboration and recognition of the validated traders for expediting border-crossing procedures applicable by different border enforcement agencies.


NETWORK with an outstanding array of international experts from Government, Customs, Business community, high level academics and practitioners who will share their expertise and promote good practises on AEO and MRA.


Participants are invited to exchange their view on challenges of today and opportunities ahead of AEO on national, regional and global level as well as to contribute to further consolidation of joint efforts.