Centre accords AEO status to gem and jewellery sector

Published - April 26, 2024 09:21 pm IST - MUMBAI

The Centre has extended Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status to the gem and jewellery sector, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the apex body of the sector, said in a statement. The AEO programme was introduced as pilot project in 2011 by the Customs department as part of a broader framework for ease of doing business, which has been instrumental in simplifying export operations across various sectors, resulting in significant time and cost savings for exporters. 

The AEO is a programme under the World Customs Organisation (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards to secure and facilitate global trade.  The aim is to enhance international supply chain security and facilitate movement of legitimate goods.  Under this programme, an entity engaged in international trade is approved by the Customs as compliant with supply chain security standards, and granted AEO status and certain benefits. 

India’s AEO Programme is in sync with the commitments made under Article 7.7 of WTO TFA. AEO is a voluntary compliance programme. It enables the Indian Customs to enhance and streamline cargo security through close cooperation with the principal stakeholders of the international supply chain viz. importers, exporters, logistics providers, custodians or terminal operators, custom brokers and warehouse operators, according to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC). 

The gem and jewellery sector was initially denied participation in the AEO programme. “However, through proactive engagement with relevant Ministries, the GJEPC successfully advocated for the inclusion of the gem and jewellery industry in the AEO programme,” the GJEPC said in the statement.

“Consequently, the Ministry of Finance has communicated that units within the gem and jewellery industry are now eligible to apply for participation in the AEO programme, thereby enabling them to avail associated benefits,” it added.  Out of the 20 companies which had applied for the AEO status, Asian Star, a diamond and diamond jewellery manufacturer, had been granted AEO status, making it the first in the Indian gem and jewellery industry to receive the certificate.

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