Today, the WCO published the 2018 edition of the SAFE Framework of Standards, following its adoption by the Council - the Organization's highest decision-making body - at the end of June 2018. The Framework provides baseline international standards to secure and facilitate global trade. It is updated every three years to ensure that it remains relevant and reflects new opportunities, challenges and associated solutions.
Launched in 2005, this unique instrument ushered in modern supply chain security standards, heralding the beginning of a new approach to the end-to-end management of goods moving across borders while recognizing the significance of a closer partnership between Customs and businesses.
The 2018 version augments the objectives of the SAFE Framework with respect to strengthening cooperation between and among Customs administrations, for example through the exchange of information, mutual recognition of controls, mutual recognition of Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs), and mutual administrative assistance. In addition, it calls for enhanced Customs cooperation with government agencies entrusted with regulatory authority over certain goods (e.g., weapons, hazardous materials) and passengers, as well as with entities responsible for postal issues. The Framework now also includes a comprehensive list of AEO benefits with certain minimum assured benefits.
The updated SAFE Framework offers new opportunities for Customs, relevant government agencies and economic operators to work towards a common goal of enhancing supply chain security and efficiency, based on mutual trust and transparency.
On this occasion, WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya said : “All WCO Members and stakeholders should deepen the implementation of the SAFE Framework and its associated tools in an effective and harmonized manner to further strengthen supply chain security and facilitation, by leveraging the collective lessons learned thus far and the new opportunities outlined in the 2018 edition of the Framework.”
The WCO, through its Columbus and Mercator Programmes and a host of tools contained in the SAFE Package, will continue providing technical assistance and capacity building support to Members and stakeholders to facilitate the implementation of the Standards set out in the SAFE Framework, as well as AEO and other related programmes.