On 21 July 2018, the Pacific Alliance, a trade bloc formed by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, signed a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of their respective Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programmes in Puerto Vallarta (Mexico), within the framework of the XIII Presidential Summit of the Pacific Alliance.
This plurilateral MRA is the first of its kind, ensuring movement of goods by strengthening the security of the international supply chain, and improving trade facilitation within the region.
A regional/plurilateral approach to MRA reduces/eliminates the need for a number of bilateral MRAs and the associated administrative costs of negotiations and implementation of bilateral MRAs. Such an approach not only decreases the number of MRAs but also introduces a greater degree of harmonization and standardization of AEO programmes. It also improves coordinated border management, as well as creates mutually agreed common understanding and solutions towards regional challenges.
The WCO, with its range of tools such as the recently developed MRA Strategy Guide, has been supporting its Members with planning, negotiating, and implementing MRAs, including through the adoption of a strategic and regional/plurilateral approach.