The Impact of Authorized Operators Programme: A Case Study of Trade Facilitation in Zambia

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programs are embedded within the framework of the Trade Facilitation Agreement and aim to reduce trade costs mainly associated with customs interactions. These reduced trade costs are expected to directly benefit traders (who pass on these reductions to consumers), improve the efficiency of moving goods across borders and ultimately result in economic growth. However, the estimated impact of these programs on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is scarce. Thus, to estimate this impact, the research used import data from Zambia and empirically analysed it through an impact evaluation method known as Difference in Differences. Based on the results, a conclusion is drawn that AEO programs do positively affect trade; the effects thereof which are beneficial to traders and the implementing government.

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