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What Is The Authorised Economic Operator Scheme?

If you’re involved in the international supply chain and currently carry out customs-related activities throughout the European Union, you might want to consider applying for Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status, no matter what size of business you operate.

Depending on the type of certificate you apply for, benefits can include easier access to certain customs simplifications or facilitations from safety controls and customs security. There are numerous AEO certificates that you might want to start researching, so you know you’re applying for the one that will suit your business best – although a UK business consultancy firm can help you with this and offer you advice on which may be most appropriate for you and your brand.

For example, the Security and Safety certificate can be issued to any company that fulfils the criteria of customs compliance, financial solvency, and record-keeping, security and safety standards. Or then there’s the Customs Simplifications certificate, which can be issued to any firm that fulfils certain criteria relating to financial solvency, customs compliance and appropriate record-keeping standards.

So what exactly are the benefits of being AEO certified? You can take advantage of lower risk scores used to work out the frequency of physical and documentary checks, fast-tracking of consignments through customs controls, guarantee waivers, simplifications for shipping services, simplified declaration procedures, useful marketing tools and recognised status across the European Commission.

With Brexit on the horizon, becoming an AEO will mean you can enjoy frictionless borders after the UK leaves the EU. A new UK-EU customs regime could present all sorts of problems for companies that haven’t been certified, since this status is in fact an internationally recognised kitemark that tells others that your customs controls and procedures are compliant.

Late last month (August), the government published its first Brexit No Deal technical notices, supplying information to businesses to help them navigate their way through the next few months.

Director-general of the Confederation of British Industry Josh Hardie commented: “It’s right and responsible that the government have supplied information to businesses on issues from financial services passporting to food labelling, all of which will help lower the risks of the harshest outcomes from a no deal Brexit. But without a similar response from the EU, many of these mitigating measures would be blunted.

“The reality is that businesses across the UK have already spent millions of pounds and thousands of hours on getting ready for no deal. Whilst smaller firms simply do not have the resources to assess what the worst-case scenario would mean to their enterprises.”

Here at The Blue Bear Partnership, we consult on customs compliance and the AEO in particular, having just worked with the likes of Monsoon, Accessorize and Marks & Spencer helping them all to pass this certification in line with the new Brexit contingencies. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with us today.

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