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AEO, the Pacific Alliance and Central America

Great impulse for the AEO programs in the Latin America and the Caribbean, from Central America to the Pacific Alliance

Important advances were held last October by the Authorized Economic Operator Program (AEO) in the Latin American region in two different meetings: one in Chilean city of Punta Arenas between Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of the four Pacific Alliance countries, and one in the capital of El Salvador having as starring protagonists the Ministers of Economic Integration of Central America. The AEO was present in both meetings.

The route for a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA)

Through the work of the AEO coordinator of Customs Administrations from Colombia, Mexico, Chile and Peru Programs held in Punta Arenas, progress was made in developing a joint working Plan to strengthen and harmonize the AEO programs in the four countries, and agreed to work on achieving a Multilateral Agreement on Mutual Recognition of AEO programs. To this end, the creation of the AEO Technical Group was formally requested to the High Level Group (GAN in Spanish) to meet the provisions of the Additional Protocol to the Framework Agreement of the Pacific Alliance.

Firm step toward international standards

A the meeting of COMIECO in San Salvador, comprising the Ministers for Economic Integration of Central America , the proposed regulatory amendments to Central American Uniform Customs Code Regulations concerning the AEO programs were approved. These modifications allow AEO programs in Central America to be aligned with international best practices and guidelines of the SAFE Framework of the World Customs Organization (WCO). With this reform, the Central American countries have a regional instrument to support the implementation and strengthening of their AEO program.


The IDB, as a strategic partner of Latin America, has been supporting these efforts with teams of AEO programs in the customs administrations of the region. Both, the reform of the RECAUCA and the formalization of the AEO Technical Group in the Pacific Alliance, aim to generate greater trade and regional integration in Central America and the Pacific Alliance countries. Also, an improvement in the expectations of their trade flows, as well as providing an instrument of competitiveness for the private sector. There are 12 existing AEO programs in Latin America and the Caribbean, more than 650 certified companies and three MRAs signed, along with several others in several negotiation processes.

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