Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status is an internationally recognised mark of quality and reliability for any party involved in customs activities within the EU. It’s purpose is to identify an operator’s efficiency and compliance in carrying out customs procedures, and depending on the type of AEO status achieved, can yield a great range of benefits for international traders. There are two types of AEO status:
- Security and safety (AEOS) – identifies the operator as a secure trader, compliant and reliable in financial and customs terms, as well as in respect to safety and security standards. Benefits include reduction in the frequency of customs checks due to low risk, and shipments can be given priority for security checks and fast-tracked through customs controls.
- Customs simplifications (AEOC) – identifies the operator as compliant and reliable in financial and customs terms, as well as having relevant qualifications and competency in the customs role they undertake. Benefits include massively reduced deferment account guarantee, and faster application processes for special and simplified customs procedures, such as Inward Processing (IP) and Customs Freight Simplified Procedure (CFSP).
Operators need to satisfy criteria for compliance, record keeping, financial solvency and either security or practical competence and qualifications, to be granted AEOC or AEOS status. Getting your business up to an AEO-ready standard can be a long and arduous process, but Exporter Services can help ensure your business is on the right track; we offer compliance health-checks, shipping support and advice at all levels, and can help strengthen your procedures towards full compliance. We also provide support with the application process itself.
There is currently no obligation to become an Authorised Economic Operator but there are plenty of benefits, and eventually supply chains that do not include AEOs will experience tighter customs controls as AEO supply chains are favoured by HMRC. You can find more information about AEO in HMRC Notice 117, or get in touch with Exporter Services now by visiting our Contact page to see how we can help you get there.
Struggling to find the answers you need?
We know it can be a real challenge to find the right information for your shipping questions. There are many resources available but how much of it is relevant to your needs? Cutting through to the specifics and making sense of it all can often feel like a losing battle, particularly if you don’t know where to start looking in the first place.
Our Helpdesk advisors share a wealth of knowledge and experience in international trade and shipping, and can give you help and advice tailored to your needs. With our help, the answers you are looking for could be just a phone call or email away. From simple enquires to complex problems, we are here for you.
To find out more about our Helpdesk service, please get in touch on 0115 7270018.
Shipping Dangerous Goods by Air
If you want to ship hazardous goods by air you will need to adhere to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, a strict set of guidelines set in place to ensure hazardous goods are transported safely on both passenger and cargo aircraft. While certain goods, such as explosives and toxic chemicals, present obvious dangers, there are many goods that are not so obviously dangerous; you may not even be aware that the goods you want to move are classed as dangerous, and in some cases may be forbidden from air transport entirely.
We provide advice on interpreting the rules and regulations put in place by IATA, from hazard classification to packing instructions, marking and labelling. We have certified team members who can help with the necessary documentation required by the regulations, including Shipper’s Declarations and Accompanying Lithium Battery Documents.
Our training services are supplied to 13 Chambers of Commerce and the Institute of Export and International Trade. We also provide bespoke training for individual companies, and can tailor the content of a course to meet your needs.
We cover many aspects of imports and exports including:
- Export documentation
- Letters of credit
- Compliance processes
We’ve had some great feedback about our courses from participants with all kinds of backgrounds, as shown in these testimonials:
“Sue was an excellent trainer and it was one of the most enjoyable courses I have attended in terms of content and style. I learned a lot from the day.” – Timber Specialist
“Sue is extremely knowledgeable and has made the course much less terrifying than expected!” – Legal Counsel
“Course was highly informative and definitely beneficial.” – Credit Manager.
“Excellent trainer. Helped with real case study issues.” – Customer Service Manager
“Sue is a fantastically knowledgeable trainer, I love coming to her courses.” – Customer Service Executive
For more information about training and to view the courses we are currently running, please visit the Upcoming Training Courses page.
Being compliant with HMRC should be high on the agenda at all levels in a business.
Exporter Services offer a Compliance Health Check for your business; we take a thorough look at your processes, highlight any problem areas and advise on the improvements needed to achieve full compliance with HMRC.
There are often simple things overlooked that are easy to get wrong but are important to get right, for example:
- What are the rules surrounding zero rated VAT in exports, and are you compliant?
- Working with Incoterms like FCA can cause more trouble than we bargain for when we aren’t contracting for carriage.
- Tariff codes play an important part of everyday life in international trade. “Spare parts for….” doesn’t apply to the majority of the equipment that we export. So, if we aren’t entering the right data on our paperwork, how are the entries in CHIEF being made and who’s responsibility is it to ensure they are correct?
There should be no surprises if the process in place is correct, but with so much to consider in the evolving world of international trade it can be hard to keep your processes up to date with the latest rules and regulations. Exporter Services can help ensure your business has nothing to worry about when it comes to compliance.
For more information on compliance with dangerous goods please click here, or for export controls and ITAR regulations please click here.
Letters of Credit are a secure method of obtaining payment
That said, they are abused and widely misunderstood.
They are avoided by many, used incorrectly by others and cost businesses a lot of money because Finance directors don’t understand them. Employees make them a ‘black art’ which they aren’t. They are governed by rules and the ability to pay is removed from the buyer and sits with the bank.
At Exporter Services, we understand the costs and the implications of the errors so we take the problem away. We prepare and present documentation in line with the Letter of Credit leaving you free to move on to the next shipment. The funds will appear in the beneficiaries bank account in accordance with L/C payment terms.
Imports are often the one area where the assumption is that we have to pay whatever we are charged.
Part of the supply chain is to ensure that purchase orders are placed in the correct way, with the applicable Incoterm used. A forwarder is nominated to clear the consignment and it is then your responsibility to ensure that the entries into HMRC are made correctly.
What about import regimes where there is duty/tax relief on imports that are not staying in the EU? There needs to be a strict process in place to manage these but it is worth it when you are able to save money.
Exhibitions and demonstration equipment often cause issues for businesses when they tie themselves up in knots and end up paying dearly for it.
We all need a little help sometimes.
Working with overseas customers and foreign Customs can often be a real challenge. Whether your business is new to exporting or entering new territory, we have the skills and experience to guide you. We offer a wide range of services to cover your export needs, including:
- Booking freight, from small parcels to container loads.
- Advising best route and obtaining proof of export/delivery.
- Generating and arranging documentation in line with UK and foreign customs requirements.
- Assistance with determining the correct tariff codes and calculating landed costs for your goods in worldwide locations.
- Advice on incoterms.
- Support on generating quotations to cover the costs on international movements.
Whether you need an entire shipping department, occasional holiday cover, or advice on a specific project, Exporter Services can offer the support you need to export successfully.