What is required of a company applying for AEO status?
The AEO requirements aim to prevent unauthorised access to goods as well as to related documents and data covering all stages of the supply chain. The nature and scope of the applicants’ operations as well as their role in the supply chain, are taken into account during the assessment.
- The applicant must comply with the customs requirements in their operation.
- The company has not committed a serious infringement or repeated infringements of customs legislation or taxation rules over the last three years. The requirement also applies to the company’s management and the person responsible for customs matters. The assessment is based on information that is available in Customs’ systems.
- The applicant must be financially solvent.
The company has a good financial standing which is sufficient to fulfil the commitments. The objects of the assessment are e.g. the equity ratio, payment disruptions and payment method used for customs payments during the three years prior to the application.
- The applicant must have a satisfactory system for accounts and logistics, which allows customs controls.
The applicant should maintain an accounting system, which is consistent with the generally accepted accounting principles in the Member State and which will give Customs a physical or electronic access to the applicant’s customs documents as well as to the transport documents, if needed. The logistics system must be able to distinguish between Union goods and other goods. An AEO operator must be able to detect illegal and unauthorised transactions through internal audit.
The objects of the assessment are e.g. the audit trail of the accounts, systems for financial and logistics administration, the system for internal control, management of goods flows and related descriptions and instructions, for instance customs clearance practices, the archiving of documents as well as data security. The assessment also includes visits to the applicant’s locations.
What requirements must the company applying for AEOC status also meet?
- Applicants for AEOC status must meet the practical standards of competence or professional qualifications directly related to the activity carried out. Competence can be added through practical experience (at least three years’ practical experience in customs matters) or training (the applicant or the person in charge of the applicant’s customs matters has successfully completed training covering customs legislation).
What requirements must the company applying for AEOS status also meet?
- Applicants for AEOS status must meet the security norms regarding security management, security of facilities and personal security, logistics and production security as well as the security of the supply chain.
The security norms require physical arrangements regarding facilities and security as well as established security practices, both when it comes to the company internally and during business activities with customers, suppliers and external service providers.
The objects of the assessment are structural protection and security control, management of security risks in personnel policy, access to goods, goods data and documents in the supply chain as well as managing security risks concerning transport agreements and contracting parties. The assessment includes visits to the applicant’s places of business and the company must name a head of security.
Which sectors of the company’s activities will be dealt with during the AEO assessment? You get more information about the sectors by acquainting yourself with the Self-assessment questionnaire. Before applying, you can answer the questionnaire. Just request the link to the electronic questionnaire from the AEO Contact Point at aeo(at)tulli.fi.
The document AEO Guidelines is drawn up by the Commission and is intended for customs authorities and companies. The document contains instructions for implementing the regulations. The document contains comprehensive and specific information about all AEO requirements and concepts.
AEO Self-assessment questionnaire
The aim of the self-assessment questionnaire is to give the applicant specific information on the AEO requirements and help the applicant to assess their own activities in view of these requirements. Comprehensive answers give Customs information on the applicant’s activities and speed up the assessment. The questionnaire is based on the AEO Guidelines document which, in addition to the completion instructions, can be used when filling in the questionnaire.
- Self-assessment questionnaire (in Finnish)
- AEO training material provided by the Commission
- The AEO e-book by the Commission is also easily readable with a web browser without any downloads or logins. It is an interactive book and guide for traders who don’t yet have the AEO status as well as to AEOs who want to know more about the AEO concept.
Customs offers free of charge advice to all businesses interested in applying for AEO status before an AEO application is submitted.