HMRC is writing to businesses that are currently approved Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) to help them prepare for Brexit.

If a Brexit deal is approved by UK Parliament, the current importing & exporting processes will stay as they are for the duration of any agreed transitional period.

Businesses should continue to use the current EU AEO logo & certificate whilst the UK remains in the EU, or if a deal is agreed.

In the event of no-deal, businesses are being told that HMRC will automatically transfer AEO-C, S & F authorisations over to a new UK AEO scheme:

This will be a new UK status and will replace the existing EU status.
HMRC have also stated that businesses will receive a new UK AEO certificate, which fetaures the brand-new UK AEO logo.
Businesses are to use the new UK AEO certificate and logo in place of the existing EU AEO certificate and logo.
Current AEO reference numbers will NOT change.
HMRC will NOT be sending out a new authorisation letter.

There is also an update on the Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) of AEO programmes with other countries, with HMRC stating the following:

The EU has Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) in place with Andorra, China, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the USA. Under these arrangements, businesses who hold the AEO(S) or AEO(F) status can be recognised as ‘trusted business partners’ and they get the benefits of this status when trading with those countries. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, this recognition will stop. Instead the recognition of AEO status of UK business will be based on the MRAs the UK has in place with each country.

And there is additional information for AEO certified businesses that trade with Andorra, Norway & Switzerland:

How the existing AEO arrangements with Andorra, Norway and Switzerland will apply after the UK leaves depends on our future relationship with the EU. As such, we are not currently working to transition these arrangements.
If the UK leaves without a deal, your UK AEO status will no longer be recognised by these countries or by EU member states. You will then have to follow the same customs controls as you would for countries without an MRA.

VARTAN will continue to provide updates about AEO & Brexit as soon as they are received from HMRC. For further guidance on AEO and Brexit planning in general, please contact us.