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What is an AEO (Authorised Economic Operator)?

An AEO is a company that has proved to the Customs Authorities’ satisfaction that it meets stringent criteria related to any of its operational functions that involve customs procedures and processes.

AEO is an internationally recognised quality mark which indicates that the holder’s role in the international supply chain is secure and that their controls and procedures are efficient and compliant.

There are two types of certification

1.       Security and Safety

2.       Customs Simplifications

 The Union Customs Code (UCC) has now been adopted and will come into effect from 2016.  This means that whilst AEO status will not be compulsory any company or organisation involved in the global movement of goods that has not achieved this certification may be severely disadvantaged.

Benefits for your company

Security and Safety

·         Lower risk score used to determine frequency of physical and documentary checks at borders
·         Fast track through customs controls with priority status
·         Reduction in data elements in pre-arrival / pre-departure declarations
·         Recognised status
·         Industry “Kite Mark” and marketing tool
·         Inclusion in reciprocal / mutual recognition arrangements such as C-TPAT

Customs Simplification

·         Quicker access to simplified procedures
·         Accreditation across member states
·         Access to pan-EU authorisations and procedures as they become available


·         Reduced incidents of theft or loss in transit
·         Improved security
·         Improved communication with partners
·         Improved customer confidence

How we can help

With specialist experts in both international trade and internal process, controls, audit & standards compliance we are the perfect partner to assist you to achieve the benefits of AEO status.  Our consultants have more than thirty years’ experience in their fields and can smooth the process of cross functional integration to achieve your AEO goals.

Our services are fully flexible and can be tailored to your specific needs.  We can provide services suitable for companies of all sizes and complexities.

Complete AEO achievement service
Whatever your current status we can design and implement a bespoke programme to enable you to achieve AEO certification

1 Day Workshop
A very useful, practical and cost effective option. Our experts will spend a day with your team walking through the requirements and assessing gaps and required controls.  At the end of the workshop your team will have a clear view of actions to be taken, improvements to be made and guidance on successfully completing the AEO Self-assessment Questionnaire.

Readiness review
We can assess your readiness for both HMRC pre-certification audit and subsequent HMRC periodic reviews and assist you in understanding how your existing certification and registrations e.g. ISO 28000, 27000, 9000, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), SSAE16, ISAE 3402 contribute to your AEO certification process.

Internal Audit programme design and implementation
We can train your own people to perform ongoing self-assessments to ensure continued compliance and avoid the risk of AEO Status suspension or revocation

Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) completion
We can assist you to complete the SAQ for HMRC submission with your certification application

HMRC Audit management
We can facilitate and organise your HMRC audit to ensure smooth running and maximum efficiency on the day to allow as painless an experience as possible for all involved

Process / procedure mapping and documentation
We can analyse, document and where necessary design process and procedure documentation to meet the requirements of the standard

Internal control assessment, definition and implementation
We can assess your existing controls against the required standard and design and implement new controls if / where necessary.  Control areas can include export licensing and CITES compliance.

Risk assessment and management
We can help you to define, assess and manage risks, including appropriate policy and risk register documentation.

Security controls
We can assess your existing security controls and suggest required changes and/or additions to meet the HMRC requirements.

Tracking and record keeping
We can review, analyse and provide recommendations for effective record keeping and consignment tracking.

We can train your staff in all aspects including Tariff Classification, Customs Valuation, duty & tax management regimes, and process and control implementation. 

 The following relevant training can be provided as part of our public training schedule.  Alternatively we offer all of our courses as well as bespoke training as an in-house option.

AEO Certified Practitioner
Achieving AEO Status
The Quality Managers Guide to AEO
Achieving Successful Customs Audits
Process Analysis, Design & Documentation
Establishing & Conducting an Internal Audit Programme
Essentials of Compliance Auditing
Certificate of Customs Competency
Tariff Classification
Customs Valuation

AEO Status

​​​Practical, pragmatic advice and training

Morley Consulting


Tel: +44 (0)7841133027