India and the US are working together to swiftly conclude the MRA (Mutual Recognition Agreement) for both countries’ Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) to accelerate customs clearances. The MRA was signed by both countries in September 2021 to recognise the AEOs of each other countries. The MRA AEO programme will allow the Customs administration to categorize safe and compliant exporters and importers and to provide them with complete facilitation and reciprocal benefits.
As per the agreement, customs authorities of one country will visit another country and appraise the AEO programme and its features to ensure the accredited entity as in AEO is strong enough to make the entity risk-free. The concerned spokesperson said there is a process in place but it has to be approved by the cabinet (being an international agreement).
In 2022-23, the US was India’s biggest trading partner and bilateral trade between the two countries stood at USD 128.8 billion. India’s exports to the US were $78.54 billion, while imports were $50.24 in 2022-23.
India has already implemented similar AEO MRA agreements with other countries.