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Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)

by Daniel Andronic on Jul 02, 2021

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)
We’ve been awarded Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certification

We thought long and hard about applying for AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) status – the benefits seemed to be there. Information on the Institute of Export website https://export.org.uk was pretty good. However, to find out just how deep the dive is into the performance of import and export companies such as ours took applying.

To qualify, we had to fit into the following criteria:

  • Be a legal entity established in the UK or an EU member state
  • Be actively involved in customs operations and international trade
  • Have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number
  • Have a good history of compliance with government authorities

According to the IOE website, we are one of only 1073 approved registrations in the UK, so to say we are ecstatic to receive the accreditation is a massive understatement.

Brexit caused quite some complications for us, and it started with the little things. However, what soon progressed to limit us seriously was just how hard the process had become. Sending a single pallet to FBA warehouses in the EU (From our head office in the UK).

In this particular example, we weren’t selling goods in the EU from the UK; we were sending the stock to the Amazon fulfilment warehouse. At this point, no sale had occurred. So, a commercial invoice was not technically possible to assign duties and taxes for the products within the EU using one of our 7 VAT numbers. We already had EORI numbers in both the EU and the UK and the headaches involved in sifting through dodgy operators. Bad advice portals, and quite a few credible solutions that never worked – we were looking for all the help we could get.

Authorised Economic Operator benefits

What we found was although each case had its own merits and complications, we were severely limited with mountains of red tape. As opposed to streamlining our routes to market – a process we were at the cutting edge of. Many of the techniques we already followed on a day-to-day basis exceeded the requirements for AEO status consideration. Seeking to take advantage of the promise that the EU and UK were expected to recognise each other’s AEO schemes in the post-Brexit trading environment, among other things, was a no-brainer.

We look forward to the ‘boost the profile of customs compliance within your company’s culture and is a good preparation for the UK’s more liberalised trading environment after December 2020.’ Claims from the Institute of Export, and the other benefits such as:

  • Greater access to priority clearance
  • Reduced administration
  • Reductions or waivers of deferment and comprehensive guarantees
  • Increased transport security
  • Fewer delays in dispatch
  • Improved security between supply chain partners
  • Quicker access to other customs authorisations

And see ourselves working closely with both the HMRC and the AEO scheme for many years to come.