With AEO-certified CFS-ICD units across the country, the industry-leader reasserts its preferred logistics partner status
Allcargo Logistics has received the prestigious AEO (Authorised Economic Operators) certification from the Government of India. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs attached to the Ministry of Finance conferred the AEO status to four units of Allcargo Logistics — the two Container Freight Stations at JNPT near Mumbai and the CFSs at Chennai and Mundra. With Dadri securing the AEO certification in March 2018, Allcargo now has AEO-certified units across India, further enhancing its status as the preferred logistics partner in the country. Considered the gold standard in certification for the logistics industry, the AEO recognition is the international benchmark in efficiency and compliance with customs processes and procedures.
The Indian Customs introduced the Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) programme in harmony with the 'SAFE Framework' developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO). The WCO, an organisation of 178 customs administrations, adopted the SAFE Framework to secure and facilitate global trade whereby a party engaged in the international movement of goods is approved by customs as compliant with the supply chain security standards. It also entails other benefits, such as simplified customs procedures and reduced customs interventions. The AEO concept is being increasingly adopted by various customs administrations across the globe with the objective of securing the supply chain with resultant benefits for the trading community.
The AEO programme includes diverse stakeholders in the international supply chain such as importers, exporters, warehouse owners, customs brokers, forwarders and carriers. The objective of the programme is to provide businesses with an internationally recognised 'quality mark' that is representative of their commitment to security in the international supply chain. Entities that receive the AEO status are recognised as secure traders and reliable trading partners. ''The AEO certification for our units has lifted Allcargo's status as a global logistics player. This certification has huge significance for the western markets and is a key requisite for American customers, 'says Prakash Tulsiani, ED & CEO - CFS vertical, adding that the AEO recognition is a guarantee of compliance for global customers and associates.
Besides certifying the compliance and efficiency, the AEO tag also yields economic and operational benefits for the recipient. With the AEO certification, Allcargo Logistics will be eligible for faster approvals for new warehouses and reduced audits. ''With this certification, we will no longer have to take permission on case-by-case basis with respect to the transit of goods. We can now execute ramp-to-ramp or tail-to-tail transfer of cargo without customs escorts,'' says Head of Operations Arun Adak.
The objective of the AEO programme is to provide businesses with an internationally recognised quality mark which will indicate their secure role in the international supply chain and that their customs procedures are efficient and compliant. To ensure this, Allcargo's units ensure that they are fully compliant with legalities and operational requirements, earning the validation of their security features by the customs. Towards this, Allcargo ensures that it meets compliance standards on safety and security on various parameters — cargo security, procedural security, conveyance security, premises security, personnel security and business partner security. The certification process involves a stringent pre-certification verification by the customs authorities.
The certification process is consistent with the efforts on part of Indian authorities to simplify customs procedures and eliminate bureaucratic obstacles that have long been a stumbling block for faster economic growth. Thanks to AEO, cargo will be subjected to fewer physical controls by customs authorities and get priority for inspection.
The special status of being an AEO-certified operator will not only enhance Allcargo's freight-handling efficiency and decrease operating costs, but also boost its equity in the industry. ''The certification is a validation of our long-standing commitment to safety and security,'' says Mr Adak, adding that the internationally recognised security standard will provide a distinct competitive edge to Allcargo's clients by offering world-class facilities, ease of doing business, and efficient service deliveries.