Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certification

Is your company active in international trade? Do its activities force you to deal with the customs authorities? Then perhaps the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status can provide important benefits for your daily business operations.

What does the AEO status entail?

The AEO acronym means Authorised Economic Operator. All entrepreneurs participating in international trade can apply for an AEO certificate at the customs authorities. The customs authorities offer certain facilities to the certified enterprises. The certificate is valid in all member states of the European Union.

Why is there an AEO status?

Due to the increase in international trade, the customs authorities can no longer check all movements of goods. That is why the AEO hallmark was introduced on European level. Companies with the AEO status have advantages at the customs authorities. This enables them to handle their incoming and outgoing movements of goods more efficiently and faster.

What are the advantages?

The AEO certificate provides a variety of advantages. There are different types of certificates. Holders of the Customs Simplified Procedures certificate have the following advantages:

1. Less physical and document checks by the customs authorities
2. Precedence in case of checks
3. Selection of the site in which the check is carried out
4. Faster handling of requests for customs permits
5. Reduced sureties at the customs authorities

If you apply for the SAFE or Customs Simplified Procedures certificate, you are entitled to additional services such as notification in advance in case of checks, a simplified customs declaration and recognition of the certificate by non-EU countries

The advantages related to the customs authorities are not the only ones that count. With an AEO status, your business and potential partners know that your company is reliable and in control. They will be far more confident about entering into business with you.

The AEO status can also save you money on the mandatory audit of your annual accounts. Since you have already invested in your administrative organisation and internal audit in order to apply for the certificate, auditing your annual accounts will now be faster.

Which conditions apply?

When applying for the AEO Customs Simplified Procedures certificate, the customs authorities summarily check whether your company is reliable. For this purpose, the customs authorities assesses whether your company has complied sufficiently with the customs regulations in the past, whether the financial and logistical administration is organised properly, whether the financial situation is healthy, etc.

In addition, if you apply for the SAFE or Customs Simplified Procedures certificate, your movements of goods must be sufficiently secured. The aforementioned criteria are further explained in a brochure of the European Union called the AEO Guidelines.

How does the application procedure progress?

Prior to submitting the application for a specific AEO certificate, you must carry out a self-assessment. Based on the AEO Guidelines, you must check whether you meet the criteria that we have briefly described above. You have to submit this self-assessment together with the application form and the other required documents to the customs authorities. Subsequently, the customs authorities will check your application. If the result is positive, you will receive the certificate.

What can acconavm do for you?

The application for an AEO certificate required careful preparation. Your administrative organisation and internal control measures must be adequate, known and described. Often, adjustments in your organisation should be made to meet the criteria of the application.

acconavm can assist you in preparing and submitting an AEO application. By means of a simple checklist, we can help and support you in drafting the required administrative procedures and documents. Contact one of the specialists in international tax advice via

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