“KOREEL has seen its shipments to the U.S. increasing by a whopping 1,800 percent to date since acquiring the AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) certificate from the government,” Oh Hyun-Kyu, president of KOREEL Co., Ltd., one of South Korea’s top industrial reel manufacturers, spoke in capitals in a recent interview with the Korea Post. Based in South Korea's second largest port city of Incheon, KOREEL has been developing and producing a wide variety of industrial reels since the early 1990s. With its advanced technologies, high quality control, and relentless efforts to meet customer satisfaction, the company has been recognized as the pioneer in the reel industry across Asia. It has rapidly acquired a high reputation from Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Russia, as well as many European countries.
Since achieving the AEO status certified by the Incheon Main Customs under the Korea Customs Service in July 2014, KOREEL has witnessed its exports to the United States skyrocketed by some 18 times those recorded before the achievement, according to Oh, who himself is an espouser and advocate of the AEO system. An AEO, which stands for the “Authorized Economic Operator,” which means a company validated and authorized by the Korea Customs Service in accordance with authorizing criteria of Law Compliance, Internal Control System, Financial Solvency and Security Management.
At its initial stage, this system intensively focused on security and started to work as a non-tariff barrier causing a delay of lead times. In order to complement the system, the World Customs Organization (WCO) in June 2005 set up the Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade, which became the global WCO SAFE Framework whose core concept is an AEO program. A total of 159 countries of WCO members have implemented the program. Accordingly, each country’s customs administration certifies companies as AEOs in accordance with authorization criteria, and conduct different risk managements for AEOs from non-AEOs. The U.S., Japan, as well as the EU and other major advanced countries, including South Korea, have adopted the AEO programs, with the number of member states growing gradually.
In a bid to accommodate changes of global customs environments, South Korea inaugurated a full-fledged AEO program in April 2009. Entities are categorized into nine groups -- exporters, importers, customs brokers, warehouse operators, transporters, freight forwarders, carriers, air carriers and ground handlers – in the fourth largest Asian economy. One of the biggest beneficiaries in the country is KOREEL. Oh, also the chief executive officer of the company that employs some 100 workers and earned more than 20 billion won (US$1.75 million) in the 2015 fiscal year, recalled that owing to the AEO certificate, KOREEL’s products were able to land in the U.S. market beating Chinese and Taiwanese competitors. The AEO status has also enabled the firm, of which the main business is largely divided into three categories – industrial hose reel, cord reel and cable reel lines, to further increase its overseas shipments, he added. KOREEL now exports its industrial reel brands to more than 30 countries, maintaining a unique position in the markets at home and abroad. KOREEL has its own processing plants and assembly lines which allow the company to handle all the quality control and processing programs from R&D to final fabrication to fully meet clients’ satisfaction.
Over the last two decades, KOREEL made aggressive inroads into high value-added markets such as the automotive, lubrication, pneumatic, hydraulic, heavy industries, offshore and power plant sectors among others, covering all the markets that use hose or cables with industrial reels. In recent years, KOREEL has also advanced not only into the applications for the petroleum and water industries but also those for special vessels such as FPSO, FSU, LNG and drill ships. “KOREEL is willing and ready to support your requirements in various markets,” voiced Oh.