Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)

What are AEOs?

AEO status is a certified standard authorisation issued by customs administrations in the European Union (EU). It certifies that a business has met certain standards in relation to:

  • safety and security
  • systems to manage commercial records
  • compliance with customs rules
  • financial solvency
  • practical standards of competence or professional qualifications.

This is primarily a trade facilitation measure that recognises reliable operators and encourages best practice in the international supply chain. As an AEO, you could benefit from:

  • recognition worldwide as safe, secure and compliant business partners in international trade
  • lower risk scores in risk analysis systems when profiling
  • priority treatment if physical controls are conducted
  • mutual recognition of AEO programmes under Joint Customs Cooperation Agreements which could result in faster movement of goods through third country borders
  • reduced data sets for entry and exit summary declarations (this only applies to AEO safety and security)
  • easier access to simplified procedures
  • reduction or waiver of comprehensive guarantees

Who can apply for AEO status?

AEO is not mandatory. Any economic operator established in the EU who is part of the international supply chain and is involved in customs activities can apply for AEO status. You must have an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number. The conditions for AEO status apply to all businesses regardless of size. Manufacturers, exporters, freight forwarders, warehouse-keepers, clearance agents, carriers and importers may all apply for AEO status.

To find out more about AEO see EU AEO e-learning module for traders interested in applying for AEO status and AEO guidelines. You can find information in these guidelines about the requirements that you must fulfil to receive the status of AEO. The AEO guidelines are a working document and may be subject to change in the future.

How to apply for AEO status

Before you apply for AEO status you should complete this self-assessment questionnaire. This will help you to evaluate your procedures and ensure they meet the criteria for AEO.

If you feel that your business will meet the criteria, you should complete the application for AEO certificate. You should send your completed application and self-assessment questionnaire to Simplifications and Compliance Unit.

Who will evaluate your application for AEO?

Local Revenue staff will carry out the evaluation. The evaluation will always involve a visit to the premises covered by the application.

Further information

If you need further information contact Simplifications and Compliance Unit.