India-Australia ‘Mutual Recognition Arrangement’ (MRA)
Recently the Union Cabinet has approved the ‘Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA)’ of Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) between India and Australia.
The objective of Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of Authorized Economic Operators is to provide mutual benefit to the exporters of both the countries in clearance of goods by the Customs authorities.
- The objective of this arrangement is to provide mutual benefit to recognized and credible exporters of both the signatory countries in clearance of goods by the customs authorities of the importing country.
- The arrangement is a key component of the World Customs Organization’s SAFE Framework of Standards, which aims to make global trade safe and convenient by strengthening last-mile security of supply chains while providing high facilitation for trade globally.
- This arrangement will benefit Indian exporters exporting to Australia and thus boost trade relations between the two countries.
- The mutual recognition of the Australian Trusted Business Operator Program in Australia and the Authorized Economic Operator Program in India will come into effect from the date of signature by the authorized representatives of both countries.
- The text of the proposed Mutual Recognition Arrangement has been finalized with the consent of the Customs Administrations of the two countries.
- Indian Customs has signed two MRAs with the Customs Administration of South Korea and Hong Kong. Additionally, MRAs with the United States and Taiwan are in the final stages of being concluded.
WCO’s SAFE Framework
It was adopted by the WCO Council in 2005. It aims to strengthen the security of international supply chains and facilitate the movement of legitimate goods.
- It has ushered in a new approach to end-to-end management of goods moving across borders.
- This underlines the importance of a close partnership between customs and trade.
World Customs Organization (WCO)
- It is an independent intergovernmental body. It was established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC). Its headquarter is located in Brussels, Belgium.
- Its objective is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of customs administration. Presently 185 countries are its members.
Source – PIB