Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)

AEO Project Management & Application Support

AEO was introduced by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) with the aim of enhancing international supply chain security and to facilitate legitimate trade.

AEO status is an international supply chain quality standard, issued in the UK by HMRC following a 90-day audit process.

There are two types of AEO status available, AEO-C and AEO-S. You have the option to apply for either, or both, depending on your business activities and requirements.

Who can become AEO?

Any economic operator established in the customs territory of the Union, who is part of the international supply chain and is involved in customs-related operations, may apply for AEO status.


AEO-C: Customs Simplifications

AEO-C Benefits:

• Easier admittance to customs simplifications
• Fewer physical and document-based controls related to other customs legislation
• Up to 70% reduction in Deferment Account guarantee
• Prior notification in case of selection for customs control (related to other customs legislation)
• Priority treatment if selected for control
• Possibility to request a specific place for customs controls
• Indirect benefits such as improved relations with Customs, fewer delayed shipments and improved planning

AEO-C Application scope

• Establish an internal Quality Management System (QMS) including documentation of all procedures
• Review existing internal working procedures relating to customs compliance including representation, classification, origin, valuation & licensing
• Ensuring IT, documentation and security measures meet AEO standards
• Non-conformance reporting
• Customs entry auditing

AEO-S: Safety & Security

AEO-S Benefits:

• Mutual recognition with third countries
• Fewer physical & document-based controls related to safety and security
• Priority treatment at customs clearance
• Prior notification in case of selection for physical control (related to safety and security)
• Prior treatment if selected for control
• Possibility to request a specific place for customs controls
• Indirect benefits such as recognition as a secure and safe business partner, reduced theft and losses and improved relations with customs and other government authorities

AEO-S Application scope

• Safety & security training
• Conduct a full risk and threat assessment which specifically addresses AEO criteria
• Develop a business continuity / disaster recovery plan
• Develop a security plan including documented security measures for people, goods and information
• Establish security agreements with trade partners
• Thorough review of physical security

Vartan Project Management Services

Vartan is one of the leading AEO consultancies, accounting for approximately 10% of all UK AEO applications, and has project managed accreditations for numerous manufacturers, importers, exporters, freight forwarders, shipping lines and ports.

Our tailor-made services include:
• Complete AEO application & project management
• Design and implementation of Quality Management System
• Auditing customs procedures
• Ensuring customs compliance is of the standard required for AEO
• Risk management, including identifying security risks
• Providing ongoing AEO maintenance & support

AEO Flow of events

1. AEO GAP Analysis
2. AEO Preparation & Project introductions
3. Implementation of procedures & processes (QMS)
4. Completion & submission of online AEO application
5. HMRC Auditing (of application followed by site visits)
6. Granting of AEO (based on successful auditing)


How Vartan can help you

HMRC advise that any businesses applying for AEO status need to have completed the online application accurately and have processes and procedures in place that can also be evidenced during the audit stage.

At Vartan, we advise our clients not to submit their applications until we are sure that all the procedures and evidence are in place. As a result, we have a 100% successful accreditation record.

We will review your existing systems and, where required, take you through the steps necessary to develop your company
procedures to an AEO standard. We will advise on the best way to document and present your company procedures to achieve
a successful outcome to your application.

We attend during the HMRC audits to provide support and expertise, and will be on hand to deal with any post audit matters.

Once approved we can provide ongoing AEO maintenance and support to ensure that your procedures remain at the required level
and make certain that any system changes made by HMRC are established within your company processes.

Our expert knowledge and our experienced consultants will help ensure your company has the correct policies, procedures and audit trails in place before submitting the application, leading to a successful audit by HMRC and a successful outcome to your submission to become an Authorised Economic Operator.

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