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How do I apply for AEO status?

Before you apply for AEO status (AEO authorisation), please read the guides on this page and read about the application process. 

AEO status is granted to a company

  • established within the Union (exceptions for airlines and shipping companies) and
  • which operation the customs legislation concerns; the company e.g. handles goods, goods data or documents under customs supervision.

The aim is to get as many parts of the international supply chain as possible to apply for the AEO status. Typical operators with the AEO status within the EU are manufacturers, exporters, freight forwarders, warehouse keepers, customs agents, transport operators and importers.

Customs has prepared a short questionnaire for companies thinking about applying for the AEO status. The questions are a simplified version of the AEO self-assessment questionnaire that a company must complete when it is applying for the AEO status. When Customs assesses an AEO application, it considers the size of the company and the role of the supply chain as well as the scope and type of the business. The more the company meets the conditions given in the questionnaire, the better equipped it is for the AEO status.

The AEO system of the Commission has up-to-date information on AEO operators in Finland and within the EU.

Applications for AEO must be submitted through the EU Trader Portal for eAEO

  • As of 1 October 2019, applications for AEO status must be submitted through the EU Trader Portal for eAEO
  • As of 16 December 2019, all amendment requests concerning AEO authorisations must also be prepared and sent in the Trader Portal for eAEO.

Read more: identification and authorisation are used in the EU Trader Portal for eAEO.

What is the application process? Read this before you apply for AEO authorisation:

  1. All companies interested in the AEO status are given customer information free of charge. Customer information services can be requested by sending email to Business Information at Finnish Customs: aeo(at)

  2. The applicant starts the application process in their own organisation by getting acquainted with the minimum requirements as well as the descriptions and instructions required from the AEO applicant. The drafting of the descriptions and instructions required from the applicant, must be initiated before submitting the application. The self-assessment questionnaire is submitted together with the application. The self-assessment questionnaire can be requested from the Customs Authorisation Centre, lupakeskus(at)

  3. The application requests comprehensive and specific information about the company’s activities regarding customs clearance and logistics. Customs Business Information Service can help in filling in the form. The application is specific for each Business ID and Finnish companies apply for the authorisation in Finland. If the applicants company form is another than a limited company registered in Finland or if the applicant has localities or activity in another EU country, the applicant’s suitability can be checked with the Customs Authorisation Centre.

  4. The Customs Authorisation Centre accepts the application for processing. Accepting the application requires that

    • the applicant is established within the Union customs territory

    • the applicant does not have any serious or repeated infringements of customs legislation or taxation rules nor any serious economic crimes linked to their operation;

    • the applicant can provide proof of a high level of control of the operation and the goods, through a management system used to control commercial and transport records (when applicable), which allows for appropriate customs controls;

    • the applicant has financial solvency, which shall be deemed to be proven where the applicant has good financial standing, which enables them to fulfil their commitments, with due regard to the characteristics of the type of business activity concerned;

    • Concerning AEOC authorisation: the applicant has competence or professional qualifications

    • Concerning AEOS authorisation: the applicant has the appropriate level of security and safety required

  5. The applicant receives notification of the approved application in the Trader Portal for eAEO.

  6. The applicant’s replies in the self-assessment questionnaire are assessed before the initial meeting.

  7. The Customs assessors contact the applicant and agree on a time for the assessment. The assessment process is started with an initial meeting, where the objects of the assessment visits are agreed upon as well as when the applicant’s drafted description and instructions are to be submitted to Customs.

  8. The general rule is that all of the applicant’s premises, which are relevant in terms of Customs’ activities, are assessed through an assessment visit to the business location. The visits are carried out on average 2–3 times taking into consideration the nature and extent of the operation.

  9. When the assessment visits have been carried out and the assessment is concluded, Customs presents the results to the applicant. The applicant has the possibility to request additional time to perform possible improving measures.

  10. The Customs Authorisation Centre grants the AEO authorisation and the applicant gets to use the benefits. The AEO authorisation is published on the EU Commission’s website, if the applicant has given their consent. The whole process takes 120 (+ 60) days, at the most.

  11. When the AEO authorisation has been granted, the AEO operator is expected to promote security in their supply chain and monitor and develop their own activities in respect of the AEO requirements. Customs' controls that the AEO operators fill the requirements when they have received the authorisation.

Revoking the AEO status

The AEO operator can themselves ask that the AEO authorisation be revoked or that the validity be suspended for a certain period of time, if the company temporarily cannot fulfil the assessment criteria. If the AEO authorisation is revoked by the company, then a new authorisation can be applied for immediately.

Customs can suspend the validity of the AEO authorisation, where the conditions or assessment criteria of the authorisation have not been complied with. Before the decision is made, the AEO operator has a right to correct the situation. If the situation has not been corrected within the time limit, the authorisation will be revoked. The authorisation is also revoked if the AEO operator is guilty of a serious infringement of Customs rules. If the AEO authorisation is revoked by Customs, then a new authorisation can be applied for in three years from the revocation.


Contact us

AEO customer information

Customs offers free of charge advice to all businesses interested in applying for AEO status before an AEO application is submitted.

General instructions for businesses

General instructions for businesses offers advice from Monday to Friday 8 am–4.15 pm. Have a look at the FAQ or contact us with your question.

Customs Information Service

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