Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status is granted by EU States to economic operators. AEO status can be granted to any economic operator established in the EU that meets the following common criteria stipulated in customs law.
- An appropriate record of compliance with customs requirements;
- A satisfactory system of managing commercial and, where appropriate, transport records, which allows appropriate customs controls;
- Proven financial solvency;
- Where applicable, appropriate security and safety standards.
Economic operators who wish to apply for AEO status should apply to an AEO competent customs authority.
Authorised Economic Operators benefit both from simplifications provided for by the customs rules and/or facilitation with regard to customs controls related to security and safety, according the type of certificate they obtain.
Economic operators can apply for an AEO status either to have easier access to customs simplifications or to be in a more favourable position to comply with the new security requirements. Under the security framework, which has been applicable since 1 July 2009, economic operators have to submit pre-arrival and pre-departure information on goods entering or leaving the EU. The security type of AEO certificate and the combined one allow their holders to benefit from facilitations with regard to the new customs controls relating to security.