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   Home > Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) | Europe

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) | Europe      Print

 A short presentation of the concept of AEO (Authorized Economic Operator), a by the European Union imposed customs and security certificate.

An Authorised Economic Operator can be defined as an economic operator who is reliable throughout the Community in the context of his customs related operations, and, therefore, is entitled to enjoy benefits throughout the Community. The purpose of certification is to make the entire logistics chain safe and reliable. Customs grants the holder of the certificate less physical and administrative controls and/or facilitation of customs inspections in the field of security.

Definition

The AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) status is granted to an economic operator that satisfies the common criteria related to security systems, financial solvency, the previous customs compliance, and in some cases, appropriate security and safety standards.

The certified economic operator will be considered as a trusted economic operator for the customs with the European Community, and receive operational benefits such as less physical inspections and handling by customs, the so-called "green lane.

The AEO-status and the criteria for obtaining that status are based on the EU Customs legislation and the applicable EU Regulation.

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The security and safety of the logistic chain

The Belgian Customs & Excises has implemented the European guidelines based on : 

  • the implementation of a new so-called horizontal control method based on the trust in the economic operations, namely concerning its processes, security systems and internal control ;
  • the consideration of the existing guarantees (ISO, ISPS, C-TPAT, SOX, etc. certificates );
  • the concept of the secured logistic chain – based on the fact that the participating economic operators are reliable - implies that the current control system based on transactions has to be replaced by a system-based control of the enterprises ;
  • the implementation of a new structure with the custom administration and new work method based on the customer management and not on the transactional declarations.
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The 3 types of AEO certificates

There exists three types of AEO certificates :

  1. AEO Certificate for Customs Simplification (Certificate D) is issued to any economic operator established in the Community who fulfils the criteria of customs compliance, appropriate record-keeping standards and financial solvency and who wants to benefit from the AEO benefits.
  2. AEO Certificate for Security and Safety (Certificate S) is issued to any economic operator established in the Community who maintains appropriate security and safety standards, who fulfils the criteria of customs compliance, appropriate record-keeping standards, financial solvency and who wants to benefit from the AEO benefits.
  3. AEO Certificate for Customs Simplification, Security and Safety(Certificate F) is issued to any economic operator established in the Community who wants to benefit from the facilities offered by the certificates D and S and explained above and who fulfils the criteria of both certificates.
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The certification criteria

The certification is based on the 5 following criteria :

Standard 1
Company's information

Standard 2
Compliance record

Standard 3
Company's accounting and logistical system

Standard 4
Financial solvency

Standard 5
Safety and security requirements

Synopsis requiring details of the company's ownership, group structure, trade sector and appropriate knowledge of customs procedures.

The custom authorities will check the customs compliance record for three years prior to the application date to ensure the company meets their compliance criteria. The applying company must be able to demonstrate a satisfactory system for the management of commercial and transport data with built-in customs controls and procedures. The applying company must be able to demonstrate a good financial record for the past three years of trading. The company must demonstrate a high awareness of security and safety measures, both internally and with trading partners, based on documented internal control procedures.

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Source: Belgian Customs & Excises


 
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