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Friday, August 16, 2019

APEC 2019 in Puerto Varas begins with workshop on Customs Authorized Economic Operators

International experts explained the importance of AEO programs to the logistical security of foreign trade.

Puerto Montt, 08/14/2019.- The National Customs Service launched the activities of the 2019 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in the Los Lagos Region with a workshop entitled “Authorized Economic Operators (AEO): Challenges and Opportunities for the Development of the Los Lagos Region.”

The activity forms part of the Citizen APEC series, which seeks to bring the community closer to the various technical topics addressed by groups of experts from the 21 economies that form part of the multilateral body, such as the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP), which will meet on August 18 and 19 in Puerto Varas.

Regional Governor Harry Jürgensen, Regional Customs Director José Ignacio Palma and Vice Rector of Universidad Austral Dr. Renato Westermeier inaugurated this first APEC Chile 2019 workshop. The workshop brought together public and private stakeholders, academics and students, who came to learn about the experience of international experts. The event was held with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). 

“This is the first APEC activity, and it is tremendously important for us to participate in this launch today. Five workshops are going to be held in the region, and they provide the public with an opportunity to participate in and get directly involved in the issues that will be addressed in the closed meetings that will take place over the course of 15 days in Puerto Varas. This is the way to learn about innovation and new issues that are being taken up at the APEC level,” explained the Governor of the Los Lagos region, Harry Jürgensen.

For his part, the National Customs Director added, “the purpose of this workshop is to explain the figure of the Authorized Economic Operator, which is tremendously important for the development of Chile’s foreign trade. The AEOs allow us to ensure the security of the processes that form part of the logistics chain and allow importers, exporters and everyone who participates in these operations to be certified regarding the safety of the procedures and compliance with customs regulations. We want to make this tool available to SMEs, and that is one of the challenges being addressed by APEC, Chile and Customs.”

The Puerto Montt campus of Universidad Austral hosted the workshop, and its Vice Rector thanked the organizers for having chosen the institution as the site for the launch of these meetings. He stated, “we are committed to the region through the various projects that are developed to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship and this knowledge is then transferred to businesses in order to achieve greater wellbeing for the residents of the region.”

The AEO workshop presenters included the Director of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program, Juan Pimentel, and the Executive President of the Association of Insurance Companies (AES), Carlos Farfán.

The second panel, which addressed ways to manage the challenges of AEO programs in the context of APEC economies, included presentations by the Manager of SME support center Centro de Extensionismo Tecnológico de Logística (CETLOG), Marcos Oliva, and the President of the Los Lagos Region Foreign Trade Bureau (COMEX) and Regional Director of Chile’s Export Promotion Bureau, ProChile, Ricardo Arriagada.


The activities that the National Customs Service is leading in Puerto Varas will bring together the representatives from the customs services of APEC economies, who have been working since February on key issues for the development of foreign trade and liberalization of international trade. These include tools for implementing the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and contributions to the “Integration 4.0” initiative proposed by Chile as a priority for APEC Chile 2019. The latter is framed by the fact that economic integration challenges require that efforts be focused on actions linked to logistics aspects and not solely on reducing tariffs on goods.

The agenda for the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures includes the workshop “Integrating SMEs in AEO Programs in the Asia-Pacific Region: Improving SME Participation in APEC’s Secure Trade,” which will take place on Friday, August 16, and will feature specialized presenters.

The APEC Customs-Business Dialogue (ACBD) will be held on Saturday, August 17 and will focus on the theme “Cross-Border E-Commerce and Customs Regulatory Challenges.” The event will serve as a space for the public and private sectors to come together around areas of shared interest in the face of the exponential growth of traditional merchandise transactions on electronic platforms.

The 21 economies that form part of the 2019 APEC Forum represent 40% of the world’s population, 60% of global GDP and 50% of total foreign trade. The 21 members of APEC are Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; South Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States; and Viet Nam. 

Source: Equipo de Comunicaciones Intendencia Los Lagos

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