F.No.450/179/2009-Cus.IV(Pt)

Government of India

Ministry of Finance

Department of Revenue

Central Board of Excise & Customs

Room No.227-B, North Block,New Delhi.

Circular No. 33/2016-Customs

Dated: 22th July, 2016

To,

All Chief Commissioners of Customs / Customs (Prev.).

All Chief Commissioners of Customs & Central Excise.

All Commissioners of Customs / Customs (Prev.).

All Commissioners of Customs & Central Excise.

All Director Generals under CBEC .

Subject: Review of entity based facilitation programmes viz. Accredited Client Programme (ACP) and Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme – Revised Guidelines.

Sir/ Madam

Please refer to the CBEC Circulars no. 42/2005 dated 24.11.2005 as amended regarding the ACP scheme and circular no 28/2012-Customs dated 16.11.2012 regarding AEO programme.

2. The Board has decided to merge the two facilitation schemes namely ACP and AEO into a combined three-tier AEO programme, and also enhance the scope of these programmes so as to provide further benefits to the entities who have demonstrated strong internal control system and willingness to comply with the laws administered by the Central Board of Excise and Customs. The prominent features of the new programme are:

i.  Inclusion of Direct Port Delivery of imports to ensure just-in-time inventory management by manufacturers – clearance from wharf to warehouse

ii. Inclusion of Direct Port Entry for factory stuffed containers meant for export by AEOs

iii. Special focus on small and medium scale entities – any entity handling 25 import or export documents annually can become part of this programme

iv. Provision of Deferred Payment of duties – delinking duty payment and Customs clearance

v. Mutual Recognition Agreements with other Customs Administrations

vi. Faster disbursal of drawback amount

vii. Fast tracking of refunds and adjudications

viii. Extension of facilitation to exports in addition to imports

ix. Self-certified copies of FTA / PTA origin related or any other certificates required for clearance would be accepted

x. Request based on-site inspection /examination

xi. Paperless declarations with no supporting documents

xii. Recognition by Partner Government Agencies and other Stakeholders as part of this programme

3. The revised AEO Programme is appended to this Circular.

4. Board Circulars No. 42/2005 dated 24.11.2005 as amended regarding the ACP scheme and No. 28/2012-Customs dated 16.11.2012 regarding AEO programmest and superseded with issue of this circular.

5. All the entities already certified under AEO Programme pursuant to Circular No 37/2011- Cus., dated 23.08.2011 and No. 28/2012-Customs dated 16.11.2012 would now be accorded the status of AEO-T2 or AEO-LO, as the case may be, and shall be entitled to benefits as per this circular subject to their adherence to prescribed standards and guidelines issued in this regard.

6. The entities already accorded the ACP status pursuant to Circular No. 42/2005 dated 24.11.2005 as amended are being granted one time opportunity for transition to the AEO status in terms of this circular. They are required to submit their applications in terms of this circular within 90 days. In the meantime, they are being provisionally granted the status of AEO-T1till a decision is taken on their application.

7. Suitable Public Notice and Standing Orders may be issued. Further, Director General, Directorate General of Performance Management, Chief Commissioners of Central Excise and Chief Commissioner of Customs are requested to give wide publicity to the revised AEO Programme.

8. Difficulties, if any, may be brought to the notice of the Board immediately.

Yours faithfully,

Director (Customs)

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