AEO, Authorised Economic Operator
Authorised Economic Operator, AEO, is an authorisation designed to increase the security in the world as well as to harmonise the customs related operations within the EU and make them more efficient.
The AEO status is valid in all EU Member States. Every business, regardless of size, forming part of the international supply chain can apply to become an AEO. This applies to manufacturers, exporters, freight forwarders, warehouse keepers, customs agents, carriers and importers.
To obtain AEO status, businesses within the EU can apply for one of the following certificates:
- Customs simplifications (AEOC)
- Security and safety (AEOS)
Both types of authorisations, AEOC and AEOS, may be held at the same time.
Why should I apply for an AEO authorisation?
The AEO status serves as a mark of good quality and security for you and your business partners. It also gives you access to certain simplifications, which in turn will make your goods flows faster and more secure.
The benefits of having AEO status are for example:
- lower risk that your flow of goods into and out of the EU will be stopped for examination
- possibility to request a specific place for customs checks
- easier access to authorizations and permits
- the AEO status signals that your business takes responsibility for the protection of both goods flows and society, and it strengthens your trademark at the same time.
Do you wish to become an AEO?
When you choose to apply for an AEO authorisation, you should first carry out a quality assessment of your procedures in accordance with the self-assessment questionnaire. To become certified with us is free of charge. You quality assess all your customs and safety procedures by making sure that they are well documented. The procedures should also be well known within your company. We issue your authorisation after having audited and accepted your business activities and your procedures.
If you do not wish to, or cannot, develop the procedures and the documentation yourself, you can employ a third party to help you. This third party could be a consultant, an accounting firm, a customs agent or some other operator. We do not impose any requirements on the party you employ — it is always you, being the applicant company, who hold the responsibility that the procedures and the documentation are accurate and up to date at the time of our audit.
When you consider the documentation of your procedures to be complete, you send the application and the supplementary annex to us.
It is recommended that you read the European Commission's Authorised Economic Operator Guidelines (AEO Guidelines) before applying for AEO status.
The European Commission has also published an interactive AEO eBook, as a new digital training and work resource. It includes the entire content of the AEO Guidelines but is enriched with interactive multimedia learning activities (such as assessments points) and functionalities.