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Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certification
Monday, December 10th, 2012   Posted in:News

Whatever your viewpoint on the continued EU monetary crisis and the UK’s membership of the EU, all member countries are more integrated and tied in regarding customs, borders, preferrential treatments and duties than you might think. A reversal of things would be very hard to imagine let alone implement. (writers opinion)

Although behind schedule (due to the current status of various EU members’ customs IT systems) the looming date for completion of changing over to the Modernised Customs Code (MCC) from the older Community Customs code (CCC) will be upon us in 2015. This signifies the ever closer ties into the  european union of member states and the establishment of a single border at the point of  entry/exit in to/out of the EU.

To facilitae smooth customs clearances for any EU company at any EU border point, all EU companies exporting/importing and involved with customs clearances will require an AEO certificate.

The introduction of AEO status and the “centralised clearance” is the EC’s response to the need to secure international supply chains and the introduction of Customs-Trade Partnership
Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) in the USA plus the development of the Safe framework
of standards in the World Customs Organisation.

The goal is to provide business with an internationally recognised quality bench mark which
will indicate that their role in the international supply chain is secure and their
customs controls and procedures are compliant and efficient. An operator with AEO
security and safety status implies that apart from being reliable in the traditional
financial and customs terms, they are also compliant in respect of security and safety
standards and can therefore be considered as a ‘secure’ trader and thus a reliable
trading partner.

The AEO certification allows benefits like simplified declarations and fast tracking through customs controls in some cases (with, likely, less scrutinisation by EU customs upon arrival of shipments for AEO cert holders), as well as centralised clearances across the whole EU, and guarantee waivers (for specific clearance procedures such as IPR).

The deadline to acquire this certification in order to be able to import/export outwith the EU is 2015.

We strongly recommend all importer’s/exporter’s visit the HMRC.GOV website and read public notice 117 (NB. written Feb 2010), which will explain the topic in more detail and advise on the documentation and items required when applying.

If you are exporting or importing you will have already applied to HMRC for an EORI
(Economic Operator Registration Indentification) number: you will need this in the application process. There are 3 types of certificate available as detailed on the public notice.

If you apply before the obvious rush of applicants nearer 2015 we are led to believe that you could also benefit from guarantee waivers for certain customs procedures
(we’re told that in future guarantee’s will need to be given by companies importing/exporting under IPR {simplified or regular} but this guarantee can be waived for companies who apply for AEO well in advance of completion date).

Dissclaimer: the information in this article is not checked for accuracy and serves as a ‘heads up’ only to encourage importer’s/exporter’s to visit the relevant websites and reasearch whether to join AEO for themselves.

Professional memberships
I enjoy working with Executive Freight very much and would recommend them to other exporters and importers.

Karen Coningsby – Head of Shipping
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