A quick reference to AEO terminology

Gaining Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status is not without its challenges, one being understanding some of the jargon and acronyms that surround it. With our guide, you will understand not only the jargon but other details relating to AEO status and application.



 AEO – Authorised Economic Operator

A company or organisation with AEO status means that they are deemed reliable in their customs related operation through the European Union (EU). It was introduced as part of the counter-terrorism measures in which trade and movement of goods could happen with fewer issues.


AEO is an overarching term but there are actually two types of status. Authorised Economic Operator Security is issued to any business that meets compliance in terms of record-keeping, financial solvency and security & safety standards.


This type of AEO status refers to competency, as well as appropriate record-keeping, customs compliance and so on. Competency and professional qualifications will directly relate to the activity the business carries out.

AEO status is awarded to a range of businesses carrying out various activities. They are;

  • Manufacturers – ensure the safe and secure manufacturing process and supply.
  • Exporters – the person who makes the export declaration and who is the owner of the goods.
  • Freight forwarders – the business that organises the transport of goods on behalf of the exporter or third party.
  • Warehouse keepers – a person authorised to operate a customs warehouse.
  • Customs agent – someone who acts on behalf of a business involved in customs-related
  • Carriers – the person who transports the goods, is in charge of doing so or is responsible for the operations behind transportation.
  • Importers – an operator on whose behalf an import declaration is made. They may not own the goods but they are responsible for the control of the goods coming in on behalf of another company, business or organisation.

Supply chain

The supply chain is the journey that goods take as they travel from the start of their journey to the end. It is important to understand that;

  • The start of the supply chain – technically, the start of the international supply chain would begin at the point where the raw materials are found. This point can be outside of the EU. However, in terms of AEO status, it begins from the point where a business places an order for the materials or goods that brings them across EU borders and customs.
  • The end of the supply chain – the supply chains ends at the point where the goods are delivered to the company that they were consigned to in the EU.

Custom simplification AEO status

If you hold AEOC, you will benefit from a less cumbersome customs process. This can be useful for temporary storage of goods between member states, as well as other benefits.

Article 39

This is contained with the European Council Regulation No 952/2013 that sets out the criteria of AEO status eligibility.


This is the application form to apply for AEO status.


This is the questionnaire that comes with the application form that you will also need to complete.

How can we help you?

If you are in need of assistance with any aspect of AEO compliance, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions about the path to compliance or are looking for advice and support to maintain compliance, call 01484 666160 or Email info@synergosconsultancy.co.uk and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.



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