Public Accounts Committee Appearance for HMRC chiefs
Chief Executive of HMRC Jon Thomson and deputy Jim Harra recently gave evidence before the Public Accounts Committee. With increased media and political interest in trusted trader schemes and their place in the Customs arena post-Brexit, we were interested to pick out the key exchanges of the hearing relating to Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)
For more background on AEO read our previous article here
Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Update
Thomson wrote to the committee prior to the hearing. His letter covering a range of topics including CDS, VAT and AEO prompted further questioning by committee members about HMRC thinking on trusted trader and AEO.
In his 28 March 18 letter to the committee prior to the hearing Thomson said:
- HMRC are in dialogue with trade about the benefits of AEO. We can confirm that HM Treasury have held several round-table events canvassing views from a broad range of industry sectors about the future direction of AEO.
- AEO applications in the UK had increased since the introduction of the Union Customs Code in May 2016.
- HM Government intend to negotiate mutual recognition of AEO once the UK leaves the EU.
- AEO may not be appropriate for every trader and may only benefit those with large volumes or who act on behalf of others
HMRC recruit more staff for AEO
The committee are on record advocating active promotion of the benefits of trusted trader schemes. During the hearing Jim Harra elaborated on the Chief Exec’s letter relating to AEO adding:
- HMRC are working on their AEO application processes to make them slicker to cope with an expected upturn in the number of applicants.
- Customs are recruiting additional staff to work on AEO.
- UK has added 50 AEO traders between November 17 and March 18. With 50 more applications in progress.
- HMRC are seeing more interest in AEO.
Not a “big boon for everyone” (yet)
HMRC deputy chief Harra said, contrary to some views, AEO is not suitable for everyone and benefits vary depending on your volumes of interactions with Customs.
Importantly he went on to say that AEO benefits could be achieved for more traders depending on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
Clearlight Customs & AEO
Clearlight Customs provide Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Masterclasses. We provide public sessions via Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and design bespoke, in-house events to support individual businesses of all sizes in all sectors.
We provide AEO training , consultancy , gap analysis and ongoing support for any business need relating to AEO and Customs. Please get in touch by phone on 01283 553099.
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