Agreement on supply chain security
By Eric van Puyvelde | Monday 04 March 2013
Cooperation between the EU and Canada will be stepped up to ensure the security of their supply chains. An agreement on supply chain security was signed, on 4 March, by the EU (Ireland’s permanent representative to the Union and the director-general of the Commission’s DG Taxation and Customs Union) and Canada (David Plunkett, ambassador of Canada to the EU).
The agreement builds on the existing EU-Canada customs cooperation and mutual assistance agreement, which entered into force on 1 January 1998, and extends it to include supply chain security and related risk management matters. It will allow closer cooperation between the two parties, particularly on mutual recognition of risk management techniques, risk standards, security controls and trade partnership programmes between the EU “authorised economic operator” (AEO) and Canada’s “partners in protection” (PIP). The concept of AEO is one of the key security-related changes made to the EU customs code in 2005 with Regulation 648/2005. It provides that member states must grant AEO status, recognised by all member states, to any economic operator meeting common criteria: compliance with customs regulations, appropriate record keeping, financial solvency and where applicable security and safety standards.
The agreement with Canada has to be ratified by the EU and Canada in the coming months.
Similar agreements were concluded with Switzerland and Norway in 2009, with the United States (container security) in 2004, with China (logistics chain) in 2005 and with Japan in 2008.