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EU, U.S. officials sign shipping agreement

By Hpanchal on May 4, 2012

Officials from the EU and the U.S. signed today an agreement to mutually recognize each other’s known shippers, a decision that will go into effect on July 1. These companies will now experience faster Customs clearance, among other benefits, while ensuring the security standards of both countries are met. According to the European Commission, there are nearly 5,000 companies in the European Union certified as Authorised Economic Operators.

"Today's agreement is a major step forward in the EU-U.S. trade relationship. At a time when businesses need all the support they can get, this will make life easier and cheaper for many transatlantic traders. It will also help to ensure that security checks on traded goods are more focused and effective, further improving the protection that customs provides for each and every citizen."

According to a press release, AEO status has been available for European companies since 2008. Switzerland, Norway and Japan already recognize AEO status, and European officials are pursuing a similar arrangement with their Chinese counterparts.

The EC and the Department of Homeland Security achieved preliminary work on the U.S.-EU agreement in November.

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