Authorised Economic Operator

The Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme has many benefits for businesses looking to streamline their import/export operations after Brexit.

The approval process for AEO status is detailed and time-consuming and applications are likely to increase as businesses become aware of its benefits post Brexit. If you decide that the programme suits your needs, apply sooner rather than later.

What is an Authorised Economic Operator?

The AEO programme is based on the Customs-to-Business partnership introduced by the World Customs Organisation (WCO). Traders who voluntarily meet a wide range of criteria work in close cooperation with customs authorities to assure the common objective of supply chain security. AEO members are also entitled to enjoy benefits throughout the EU.

The programme, which aims to enhance international supply chain security and to facilitate legitimate trade, is open to all supply chain actors. You can apply for AEO status for customs simplification  (AEOC), security and safety (AEOS) or a combination of the two.

On the basis of Article 39 of the Union Customs Code (UCC), AEO status can be granted to any economic operator meeting the following common criteria:

Conditions and criteria AEOC AEOS
Compliance with customs legislation and taxation rules and absence of criminal offences related to economic activity X X
Appropriate record keeping X X
Financial solvency X X
Proven practical standards of competence or professional qualifications X
Appropriate security and safety measures X

What are the Benefits of AEO Status?

Easier admittance to customs simplifications X
Fewer physical and document-based controls

  • related to security & safety
  • related to other customs legislation



Prior notification in case of selection for physical control (related to safety and security) X
Prior notification in case of selection for customs control (related to other customs legislation) X
Priority treatment if selected for control X X
Possibility to request a specific place for customs controls X X
Indirect benefits:
Recognition as a secure and safe business partner; improved relations with Customs and other government authorities; reduced theft and losses; fewer delayed shipments; improved planning; improved customer service; improved customer loyalty; lower inspection costs of suppliers and increased co-operation etc.
Mutual Recognition with third countries X

Below are some useful links that are designed to help you to understand the structure and purpose of the AEO programme and to provide some guidance as to how to get involved:

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