August 6, 2015 — More Jordanian businesses have signed up for the government’s Golden List program, designed to ease the safe clearance of goods through customs, amid U.S.-aided efforts to show importers, exporters, warehouse operators, and others involved in trade the advantages of participating.
As of July, 53 companies had enrolled, compared with 45 in April 2014. The Golden List is what is known as an authorized economic operator (AEO) program. Under these programs, developed after the terrorist attacks of September 2011, authorized operators are certified as meeting international standards for supply chain security.
Jordan designed and implemented its Golden List program with assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is supporting a broad effort to improve the performance of Jordan’s government institutions. Nathan Associates is implementing the customs and trade component of the project, Jordan Fiscal Reform, which has completed a second phase and is in a “bridge” period before a possible third phase.
Jordan Customs officials speak at the Golden List Workshop for Qualified Industrial Zone Companies, June 3 in Amman. Left to right: Colonel Salem Bashabsheh, head of Temporary Admission Directorate; Colonel Jalal Qudah, head of Risk Management Directorate; and Lieutenant Colonel Fatima Abu Alghanam, head of Compliance Department in the Risk Management Directorate. (Not pictured but participating: Colonel Jehad Al-Hajji, head of Public Relations and International Cooperation Directorate.)
As a Nathan report for the World Customs Organization noted in 2010, AEO programs “are voluntary and participation has financial costs for participants.” Therefore, to encourage participation, “customs administrations must offer measurable and tangible benefits to AEOs” and “potential AEOs must understand how participation will benefit them in terms of simplified processes and in making them more attractive business partners when the security of the global supply chain is increasingly important.”
Working with Nathan, Jordan Customs is building renewed awareness within the agency and the Jordanian private sector of the Golden List program, which was revised last year to ease membership criteria. A forum on March 12 was aimed at liaison officers within the department.
On March 30, Jordan Customs held the first of the two public-private forums at the trade hub of Aqaba, Jordan’s only seaport. Topics on the agenda included the revised membership criteria
and benefits of the
Golden List. The forum was attended
by customs experts and private sector representatives
from various industries.
Jordan Customs held the second public-private forum on June 3, targeting businesses operating in the Jordanian Qualified Industrial Zone, an area from which goods qualify for duty-free export to the United States under special conditions.