The European Union (EU) AEO or Authorised Economic Operator programme is a voluntary programme created to ensure a safer and more secure end-to-end supply chain for goods entering or leaving the European Union (EU). According to the European Commission (EC), reliable traders that comply with criteria and offer a high degree of security, with respect to their role in the supply chain, may be granted AEO status and receive additional customs simplifications benefits than non-AEO traders.


Organisations looking to obtain AEO status (AEO-C, AEO-S, or AEO-F) will need to engage in a self-assessment of their global supply chains using a pre-determined set of security standards and best practices. Questions asked to parties will need to demonstrate an adherence to policies and procedures that safeguard against any loss of integrity of their shipments until released from Customs control at destination. Many companies find this self-assessment process a daunting task.


Integration Point AEO Assessment provides the functionality needed for companies to standardise the collection, organisation and assessment of the information required during the process of applying for and keeping AEO status.


Integration Point AEO Assessment allows companies to efficiently collect the information required to apply for all types of AEO certifications, along with also providing the tools necessary to organise assessment information for maintaining AEO status, all in one single view.


Integration Point AEO Assessment features a customisable workflow, which allows the operator to select from a database of questions, and/or tailor questions to specific profiles for groups of parties to be verified during AEO certification. As mutual recognition continues to grow, the ability to share questionnaires across certification programmes lessens the burden on operators to gather and maintain the same information multiple times. Authorised Economic Operators are also able to track key performance indicators for easy review as well as see the needed required actions.

What is an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)?

As defined by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), an Authorised Economic Operator is "a party involved in the international movement of goods in whatever function that has been approved by or on behalf of a national Customs administration as complying with WCO or equivalent supply chain security standards." This definition comes from the WCO SAFE Framework, where there is a tenet to create a set of international standards in regards to supply chain security to promote uniformity and predictability across Customs organisations.


Who can apply for AEO status in the EU?

Any legal entity established in the European Union (EU) that is involved in activities covered by customs legislation and forming part of the international trade (trade outside of the EU) supply chain can apply for AEO status. This includes logistics operators, freight forwarders, customs agents, importers, exporters, manufacturers, ports, etc.

What are the types of AEO status available?

In the EU, there are 3 specific types of AEO status available to organizations:

  • Customs Simplification or AEO-C: Issued to any economic operator established in the Community who fulfills the criteria of customs compliance, appropriate record-keeping standards and financial solvency
  • Security and Safety or AEO-S: Issued to any economic operator who benefits from facilitations of customs controls relating to security and safety when the goods enter or leave customs territory, is established in the Community, and fulfills the criteria of customs compliance, appropriate record-keeping standards, financial solvency, and maintains the appropriate security and safety standards. However, unlike AEO-C, the AEO-S is not required to have a logistical system which distinguishes between Community and non-Community goods within their records.
  • Customs Simplification/Security & Safety or AEO-F: Issued to any economic operator established in the Community who fulfills the criteria of customs compliance, appropriate record-keeping standards, financial solvency, maintains appropriate security and safety standards, and who wants to receive all benefits of having AEO status.
  • Organisations wishing to obtain a security and safety status or AEO-S, or those wanting to obtain a combined customs simplification/security and safety or AEO-F, must meet additional requirements to those needed for an AEO-C status. It should be noted that current authorisations, as well as new applications for simplified procedures, will be subject to a new application process that went into effect in January 2012. Organisations already authorized for simplified customs procedures will also be required to meet the AEO criteria; those who do not could lose their authorisation.

Organisations wishing to obtain a security and safety status or AEO-S, or those wanting to obtain a combined customs simplification/security and safety or AEO-F, must meet additional requirements to those needed for an AEO-C status. It should be noted that current authorisations, as well as new applications for simplified procedures, will be subject to a new application process that went into effect in January 2012. Organisations already authorized for simplified customs procedures will also be required to meet the AEO criteria; those who do not could lose their authorisation.

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