Who needs AEO anyway

If you’ve heard of AEO but think you’re not large enough to be affected by it, you may be missing out on the benefits, and now really is the time to act. Although at present many businesses feel it’s not for them, changes are coming and getting accredited now may be an important step that contributes to the longevity of your business. For businesses dealing with international trade, AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) status is an important addition to your enterprise; and it provides many benefits that can help your business run more smoothly and successfully.

ContainerterminalWhat is AEO Certification?

Three types of AEO certificate exist; Customs Simplifications certificate, Security and Safety certificate and Combined Customs Simplifications/Security and Safety certificate. Which certificate you need depends on the requirements of your business. If you have a warehouse and deal with stock, it may be best to go for the complete certification, whereas other businesses acting as forwarders without warehouse facilities may prefer the Customs Simplification certification only.

The advantages of AEO

inspection benefits

AEO status means you will receive many advantages which include fewer physical and document inspections, priority inspections, inspections carried out at a specific location at your request and no inspection of criteria inspected earlier, when an application for a permit is submitted. Holders of an AEO security certificate receive advance notification of inspections, and do not need to provide as much information in the summary declaration.

Having been issued your AEO certificate (AEO-S, Security and Safety or AEO-F Custom Specifications and Security and Safety) and providing a declaration summary you will receive notification of upcoming inspections. The disadvantage to not having one of these certificates is that you will only be issued notification of a customs inspection when goods are being loaded.

global reach

Holders also receive recognition of the AEO security certificate by countries outside of the EU. With plans to gain mutual recognition for Security and Safety certificates in many other countries, agreements with Japan and the US have already been accepted.

What’s involved in AEO application?

To gain AEO status application questions centre on healthy and safety (staff and equipment), financial solvency, technology, procedures, compliance audit systems. Once the initial questionnaire is completed and filed with HMRC – along with supporting documentation – HMRC will visit your premises to discuss your application and ask for further evidence of procedures referred to in your documentation.

Here to help with AEO

If you’re looking into AEO accreditation, then Synergos can assist. We can help you through the paperwork associated with AEO, and can point out any weaknesses and gaps in company procedures before your application is lodged with HMRC, completing an initial audit and asking questions akin to those HMRC might ask upon their audit visit. This way, your application is more likely to be accepted, and you’ll also have a greater understanding about AEO itself.

Our aim is to help you make the most out of your business. With our input and expert guidance we can work together efficiently to prove you with the outcome you require. For more information or to get started with us simply call 01484 817 444 or email info@synergosconsultancy.co.uk.


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