AEO Information

Authorised Economic Operator accreditation is becoming increasingly important to all stakeholders in the international supply chain. More trade partners are dealing exclusively with accredited companies and we are rapidly approaching the next big landmark legislation implementation date of May 2016. Get in early and become accredited as an AEO and it will be a competitive advantage, leave it late and it could lead to loss of business to accredited competitors.

After May 2016 any organisation that utilises a customs special procedure such as a bonded warehouse, inward & outward processing or end use will be required to hold a mandatory financial guarantee with HMRC.  As an AEO a full guarantee waiver will be awarded.  Furthermore as an AEO your HMRC deferment account financial guarantee can be reduced by 70% releasing funds back into your business.

AEO accreditation also acts as a quality ‘kite mark’ enabling companies to be recognised as a reputable trade partner, and be fast tracked through customs controls.  When AEO accredited, traded goods will be subject to fewer physical inspections, allowing you to save time and money.  Click here for our AEO consultancy services or click here for AEO requirements and application forms.

There are three types of AEO status:

1. Customs Simplification (AEOC)

AEOC is the customs simplification AEO accreditation which enables the holder to benefit from tangible financial saving on customs procedures which include:

  •  A 70% reduction in the guarantee required by HMRC if you operate a deferment account.  A significant tangible benefit that can save an organisation substantial annual cost.
  • A partial or full waiver from HMRC mandatory financial guarantees that will come into force in May 2016 for an organisation operating a special customs procedure. The special procedures include inwards & outwards processing relief, end use or operating a bonded warehouse.  As an AEOC your organisation will be entitled to full or partial waivers from the requirement to have a guarantee in place.

2. Security and Safety (AEOS)

This is the simplest for Known Consignors & Regulated Agents to apply for as it complements the systems that are already in place.  Achieving this status enables the AEOS to benefit from:

  • Lower risk score used to determine the frequency of customs physical and documentary checks
  • Consignments may be fast-tracked through customs control
  • Reduced requirements for the mandatory pre-arrival/pre-departure Entry Summary Declarations (ENS) or Exit Summary Declarations (EXS) which carriers must make
  • Potential for future reciprocal arrangements and mutual recognition with countries outside the European Community, for example, USA or trading partners that adopt the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Safe framework

3. Full (AEOF)

The full certificate will enable the business to receive the maximum benefits under the AEO scheme combining the advantages of both the AEOS and AEOC certifications.

In addition by implementing AEO standards across your business it helps:

  • Reduce incidents of theft or loss in transit
  • Improve security
  • Improve communication with partners
  • Market the company’s quality status to existing and potential customers

The specific criteria to be met depends on which of the above three options is selected. For AEOC the criteria includes an appropriate record of customs compliance, satisfactory management systems that allow appropriate customs controls and proven solvency. For AEOS the applicant will need to demonstrate quality security and safety processes and systems are in place.  In either case the applicant will need to hold an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number to apply for any AEO status.  For more detail on the AEO requirements and for application forms click here.  

Ascent Consultancy and Training can help with every step of acquiring and maintaining AEO status.  We offer 3 tiers of service ranging from complete outsourcing of the process to light touch assistance when required.  If you have already started the process we can help at any stage.  If you have not yet considered becoming an AEO we can help with an initial discussion to help decide if it will benefit your organisation.


For more info on AEO legislation click the below links:

HMRC AEO web page

Union Customs Code legislation FAQ