The Safe zone is a voluntary certification built around established global standards. Free Zone accreditation is based on risk management, compliance management and a validation inspection by a vetted third party expert. From Prospect to Platinum certified, Free Zones can ultimately use this certification to apply for AEO status in accordance with relevant national customs administration.
The World FZO has developed a specific compliance management program to address and promote the quality, integrity, transparency and the protection of free zones.
The Safe Zone program is based on the WCO SAFE Framework’s Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) concept and the Authorized Operators model in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Safe Zone should be recognized as a step towards compatibility with the WCO’s AEO and SAFE Framework.
By building on the principles and mechanisms of the WCO AEO concept, Safe Zone can bring the same positive results for free zones as AEO has done for the rest of the international supply chain. It is also possible to make the two programs compatible over time using a maturity model.
Safe Zone provides free zones with an active interest in compliance and risk management. It offers a pathway to further improve the security, safety, transparency and integrity of their operations once they meet the basic criteria. It promotes the introduction of a Code of Conduct, a Security Declaration and a comprehensive control program and enhanced operating standards that meet the requirements of responsible stakeholders in the global supply chain. The program promotes these values and offers governments, international institutions and other interested parties’ accountability and audit mechanisms in relation to compliance, integrity and transparency