The specific criteria to be met depends on whether the application is for AEOC, AEOS or AEOF accreditation.
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, safety processes and systems are in place.
The best way to get an idea of the accreditation requirements is to go through the AEO Self Assessment form. AN applicant organisation must complete both the AEO application (form C117) and the AEO Self Assessment (form C118) each of which have accompanying notes. Links to the forms and notes are included below:
In summary the C118 form covers:
Section 1 General company info
You will need to provide an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number in this section to apply for any AEO status.
This section also covers who is responsible for customs matters, the type of applicant e.g. importer, freight forwarder, warehouse keeper, and information on how import classification and entries are completed together with quality control procedures.
Section 2 Compliance record
The compliance record section looks at how well the organisation has adhered to customs procedures. Have there been any infringements, how have they been dealt with etc.
Section 3 Accounting and logistical systems
This is a large section and covers audit trail systems, software utilised, flow of goods e,g. PO procedures, stock keeping systems, manufacturing process and quality control procedures. Also there are whole subsections on customs routines and recovery + fall back systems.
Section 4 Financial solvency
Solvency is assessed by the organisation’s financial standing in terms of the ability to meet debt obligations, level of debt to equity compared to the industry and net asset position over the course of the last three years.
Section 5 Security and safety
This section is about the security and safety criterion for AEO. It is specific to those organisations applying for AEOS and AEOF. This relates to the premises which are relevant to the customs activities of the applicant. If the applicant is a Known Consignor or Regulated Agent a number of these requirements may already be in place.
Completing these forms and installing the required systems requires significant internal resource. 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.