What is Authorised Economic Operator?
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.
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