International Trade

International Business Hub

By Philip Parkin

A European scheme which gives special status to ‘trusted traders’ is set to burn in the aftermath of Brexit – and then rise, Phoenix- like, as the UK extends its trading partnerships around the world. The scheme is the authorised

economic operator (AEO) status, which allows UK exporters and importers to fast-track their goods through European customs. Up to now, AEO – actually part

of a worldwide initiative which has its origins in the USA - has offered exporters many benefits – but as a Euro-centric scheme, it will cease to be of any use once the UK leaves Europe, at least until a UK version of it has been adopted. However, evidence is now emerging that AEO

status is actually going to be increasingly vital to doing trade anywhere in the world. Trade exports from various UK-based Chambers say that they are beginning to find

Techies to gather at

Luxembourg event West Midlands firms are being encouraged to attend this month’s ICT Spring conference in Luxembourg. The event is aimed at spotlighting the

latest developments in the world of information technology (IT) and this year will feature industry experts discussing a range of subjects, from artificial intelligence (AI) to robotic technologies. The event will include a major debate

about enhancing women’s roles in technology industries, with a list of speakers headed by Larissa Best, co- founder of Equilibre Luxembourg, government media and tech advisor Anne- Catherine Ries, Michael Michaeli of Eva Ventures and Ulf Nehrbass of the Luxembourg Institute of Health. The event hopes to attract 5,000 key decision makers in IT, finance, banking, web and other industries. Attendees will come from more than 72

countries –anyone registering for the event via the Enterprise Europe Network will be able to take advantage of networking meetings with venture capitalists and other investors, and a number of training sessions.

44 CHAMBERLINK May 2019 Chamber forges Russian links

The Chamber has held talks with Russian counterparts in a bid to forge new bilateral trade links. Sergei Averin, a representative from the

Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, met with GBCC’s chief operating officer Russell Jeans and International Business Hub development director Mandy Haque to discuss opportunities for Midlands firms to work with those in the Russian regions. The productive talks opened up the possibility of collaboration between the two organisations on trade fairs, visits and other promotional activities.

Mandy Haque said: “The Russo-British Chamber of Commerce has long valued its co- operation with other national, international and regional Chambers of Commerce in both UK and Russia and Mr Averin came to encourage engagement of companies from across the Midlands region with relevant Russian regions. “The International Business Hub at the GBCC

will look at the opportunities and activities presented for businesses from the RBCC, to encourage partnerships between businesses in both countries and promote products and services in various sectors.”

examples of businesses based in Asia and other economic zones who are refusing to do have anything to do with exporters who do not have AEO status. David Harris (pictured), the Chamber’s documentation manager, said: “Authorised economic operator (AEO) is a special status given to a company which confirms that the company’s customs controls and safety and security procedures are efficient and compliant. It is what’s known as a ‘trusted trader’ scheme. “AEO status provides an

organisation with quicker access to certain simplified customs procedures. It may also result in their shipments being

fast-tracked through certain customs and safety and security procedures. “Once a business achieves AEO status in one

EU member state, that status is recognised by other customs authorities across the EU. “In the event of a no deal Brexit, the EU’s customs code will cease to apply in the UK.

High level talks (from left): Mandy Haque, Sergei Averin and Russell Jeans

T: 0121 450 4205 E:

Trade scheme to fall and rise “The UK Government would most likely adopt

a UK version of the AEO status. “However, at the moment, there is no

indication that having an AEO status would offer any increased customs benefits than the new simplifications which have been made available generally under a no-deal Brexit in terms of facilitating movement of goods across borders. “Firms will most likely want to focus in the

first place on understanding what is going on with their own cross border supply chains.” Mr Harris said that although AEO, in its Euro-

centric form, would cease once EU membership ended, it would soon rise in its post-Brexit guise. He said: “By 2023, it you are an exporter, you

will need AEO or ‘trusted trader’ status to do any trade worldwide. “I’ve just had an example of a UK exporter

who wanted to trade with an Indian company, but they would only work with someone who had ‘trusted trader’ status – and this will definitely become more prevalent in the next few years.”

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