Addressing companies’ requirement to comply with the European Commission’s eCustoms Initiative for export clearance, specifically the Automated Export System (AES), SAP software for AES will be available both as a stand-alone product to new and existing SAP customers and also as part of the SAP GRC Global Trade Services application. Companies will be able to implement the new functionality quickly and without major interruption to their existing business processes and IT systems. The announcement was made at the CeBIT trade fair, being held in Hanover, Germany, March 15 – 21.
SAP software for automated export systems complements SAP’s existing portfolio of solutions, which help companies mitigate the risk of non-compliance, drive operational efficiency and business performance, and reduce overall costs of cross-border trade. SAP is currently developing and adapting the new functionality for AES requirements to support the updated national IT customs systems of each of the EU member states. SAP will roll-out the new functionality to companies across Europe on a country by country basis in the coming months, beginning with Germany in the third quarter of this year.
SAP software for AES available in Germany in Q3
The AES software for the German market supports and communicates seamlessly with ATLAS, Germany’s IT system for import and export customs procedures and helps ensure that all relevant trade information is shared with the right government agencies at the right time. Since August 2006, ATLAS-compliant electronic export registration and declarations have been voluntary for German companies. From July 2009 onwards, they will be mandatory. SAP software for AES is ATLAS-certified, helps companies reach trade compliance and provides a centralized system to manage all customs processes for companies exporting goods from Germany.
“The European Union eCustoms Initiative for export clearance, Automated Export System, is included in Germany’s paperless ATLAS customs processing system, which streamlines customs processes and creates more transparency and which has been available in Germany since August 1, 2006,” said Rüdiger Spies, independent vice president of Enterprise Applications at IDC in Germany. “It replaces paper-based and non-integrated electronic processes and supports operational efficiency. Customs processing will be automated, simplified and accelerated. We recommend that every company exporting goods should analyze the benefits of these new options and requirements.”
“With the AES software from SAP, we will be able to comply securely with foreign trade regulations,” said Karlheinz Schnägelberger, director of Export Control and Customs Regulations at Merck & Co. Inc, the global pharmaceutical company. “Furthermore, we have an extensible platform for future simplified customs procedures.”
“As governments around the world continue to modernize their IT systems and procedures to cope with the growth of international trade, companies are challenged with being compliant with a myriad of new laws and regulations,” said Doug Merritt, executive vice president, Suite Optimization, SAP AG. “SAP software for AES helps companies meet strict standards for electronic communication with national customs agencies’ systems, and in doing so boosts competitive advantage by expediting customs clearance, improving business performance and securing cross-border trade transactions.”
SAP software for AES will be available to companies running SAP ERP software from version 4.6C through the current version of SAP ERP 2005. The functionality leverages the SAP NetWeaver platform to provide companies with a holistic approach to managing global trade activities across heterogeneous IT landscapes. It integrates seamlessly with back-end logistic processes to enable companies to operate locally and manage centrally.
New European eCustoms initiative
In 2005, the European Commission introduced detailed information about its eCustoms Initiative to simplify and streamline customs processes and procedures and to ensure compatibility of European Union member states’ electronic customs systems. The goal of this electronic, paper-free customs environment is to increase the competitiveness of companies doing business in Europe, reduce compliance costs and improve EU security.
As part of the initiative, each member state is required to update its customs procedures and IT systems in accordance with EU-wide regulations, allowing for all customs-related data to be stored centrally in a single database and to be shared with all approved government authorities throughout Europe. The European Union introduced the Automated Import System (AIS) and Automated Export System (AES) together with the New Computerized Transit System (NCTS) to ease customs procedures and to avoid duplication at the EU level. With these new systems in place, import and export operations started in one member state can be completed and finalized in another member state without re-submission of the same information.
In August 2006, the Commission’s new system for export processes was introduced within ATLAS (Automatisiertes Tarif- und Lokales Zoll-Abwicklungs-System), the IT system of the German Customs Administration to automate and accelerate import and export customs procedures. ATLAS, with the new AES system, replaces all printed forms, such as export declarations, with electronic messages in EDIFACT format. It will be mandatory for companies doing business in Germany to transfer export data electronically to the ATLAS system from July 2009 onwards. SAP software for AES will help companies streamline cross-border trading and help ensure compliance with government regulations.
AES is a component of SAP GRC Global Trade Services, a composite application that enables companies to gain a single view of their global trade activities. The application automates and standardizes the end-to-end business processes of global trade, including export management, import management, trade preference management and restitution management. It streamlines the movement of goods, documents and payments across borders to help companies gain sustainable competitive advantage.