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AEO authorisations

Authorised economic operators, i.e. AEOs, are companies that receive certain benefits and facilitations in their customs activity in the entire EU territory.

What is AEO?

AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) is a global partnership programme between the customs authorities and economic operators. Its goal is to promote the security of international supply chains.

A company that has received an AEO authorisation receives certain benefits in the EU territory as well as with non-EU countries through Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA). 

The document AEO Guidelines includes guidelines for the application of legislation by customs authorities and companies, drawn up by the European Commission. The guidelines provide detailed information on the AEO programme, related concepts, and requirements for AEO authorisations, among other things.

Who can apply for AEO status?

All companies in the EU territory that engage in activities related to customs can apply for AEO authorisations from Customs. The AEO status is intended for companies of all sizes that have different roles in the international supply chain. Typical operators with the AEO status within the EU are manufacturers, exporters, freight forwarders, warehouse keepers, transport operators and importers.

An operator who wants the AEO status must meet certain requirements. For example, a company must be financially sound, have a good track record in customs matters as well as have a sufficiently accurate records. Read more about the requirements for the AEO.

Different AEO authorisations: AEOC, AEOS and AEOF

There are two different AEO authorisations: 1) AEOC – simplified procedures 2) AEOS – security and safety. The company may also have an AEOF authorisation, which is a combination of both. Check which benefits the different authorisations can bring to your company.

In-house control

AThe AEO must carry out internal control, among other things. One form of internal control is in-house control, with which the quality of the company’s customs activity can be ensured. Customs instructs on the criteria of the in-house control and on the timetable for the reporting. Check the current instructions on the in-house control.

How to apply for AEO status

AEO status is applied for via the EU’s e-service. Before applying, the company must contact Customs, which will provide detailed instructions on the application process. Read more on how you can apply for the AEO authorisation.