TOKYO — Japan and the United States agreed to expand their trade security and facilitation programs to include Japan’s imports from the U.S., effective Dec. 3.
The application of Japan’s Authorized Economic Operator program and the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism to trade between the two countries has been limited to Japan’s exports to the U.S.
Japan has implemented mutual recognition arrangements of the AEO programs with six trading partners: New Zealand since October 2008, the U.S. since June 2009, the European Union since May 2011, Singapore since August 2011, South Korea since November 2011 and Canada since this month.
The U.S. and Taiwan also reached consensus to recognize each other's customs policies.
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., customs administrations worldwide have been developing AEO programs in line with the World Customs Organization's Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade.
Under these programs, companies complying with the supply chain security standards are granted AEO status and speedier and simpler customs procedures.
Japan introduced the AEO program in 2006. About 490 Japanese exporters have been granted AEO status, including Toyota, Sony and Nintendo. In the U.S., about 10,000 companies have been granted AEO status.
The Japanese-U.S. mutual recognition agreement has covered only Japan’s exports to the U.S. because C-TPAT allowed only domestic importers to participate.
But U.S. Customs and Border Protection has begun to allow domestic exporters to participate in C-TPAT, making it possible for the Japanese-U.S. agreements to include Japan’s imports from the U.S. as well.