Eswatini Revenue Service Grants AEO Status to 3 Companies

By Phiwa Sikhondze

The Eswatini Revenue Service (ERS) has accredited 3 companies with the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) status, a move that grants them a “customs diplomatic passport” for streamlined border operations.

The prestigious AEO status has been conferred upon Royal Eswatini Sugar (RES) Corporation (RES Mhlume and RES Simunye), Palfridge, and Eswatini Railways, recognizing their unwavering commitment to compliance and operational excellence. This takes the number of companies accredited with the AEO status in the country to seven.

This accreditation serves as a “customs diplomatic passport,” enabling the companies to expedite their trade processes across borders. The AEO status is a testament to the trust and reliability these companies have established, allowing them to streamline their operations and focus on their core business activities.

ERS Commissioner General (CG) Brightwell Nkambule underscored the significance of the AEO certification, which facilitates faster customs clearances and enhances the overall trade experience. He also stressed the importance of maintaining this trust by choosing dependable partners in the logistics and transportation sectors.

“The AEO affords business diplomatic status at the border. We trust that you are transporting legitimate goods from our country across,” noted the CG.

The CEO of Palfridge, Peter McCullough, expressed their appreciation as a company for the AEO program, highlighting its importance as they enter corporate markets like Coca-Cola, AB InBev, and Heineken.

He noted that meeting the high standards of these clients requires accreditations like the AEO, which affirms their status as a trustworthy supplier. The CEO said he looks forward to the benefits the accreditation will bring to their operations as a net exporter.

“This program means a lot to us as a net exporter and we’re hoping that it’ll work to our benefit in the future. You know we’re just getting into the corporate markets like Coca-Cola, AB InBev, and Heineken, and to supply those corporate clients you’ve got to have such accreditation and be a trustworthy supplier,” he said.

The accreditation ceremony concluded with the awarding of certificates and an invitation for the new AEO partners to make remarks. This development is a significant step for Eswatini in enhancing its trade facilitation and supporting the growth of its businesses in the international market.

Nkambule noted that ERS’s move to award the aforementioned companies with AEO status is a clear indication of Eswatini’s commitment to fostering a conducive business environment and promoting efficient trade practices.

The CG urged AEO partners to ensure their transporters and clearing agents maintain the trust associated with their AEO status.

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