AEO Latest Update (July 2010)

30 July 2010

HMRC has published an updated information paper (JCCC CIP (10) 51) setting out a new criterion for future AEO applications included in the (ongoing) draft Implementing Provisions. The article below is a basic summary of the HMRC Paper.

Current Position

A business wanting to obtain a customs specific AEO certificate (AEOC) must meet the three criteria of:

• Customs compliance
• Satisfactory records and;
• Proven solvency

For a business wanting to obtain a combined customs simplifications and security and safety AEO certificate (AEOF) they additionally need to meet the safety and security criterion.

New Position

Under changes introduced within the MCC, businesses that hold or want to obtain an AEOC or AEOF certificate will also have to meet a new criterion covering:

• Practical standards of competence or;
• Professional qualifications.

Please be aware that the Implementing provisions of the MCC have not been finalised and are still liable to change.

Businesses that hold or want to obtain a safety and security AEO certificate (AEOS) are not affected by this change.

How will the new criterion be met?

The new criterion can be met by fulfilling either one of the conditions for professional qualifications contained in paragraph (a) or the practical standards of competence described in paragraph (b).

Businesses applying for an AEOC or AEOF certificate after the MCC is implemented in June 2013 will need to meet the new criterion. Businesses currently holding an AEOC or AEOF certificate under the existing legislation will need to show, within a transitional period of 24 months, they meet the new criterion:

The new criterion shall be deemed to be met if either of the following conditions is met:

a) For professional qualifications:

(i) He has undertaken training and passed an examination, consistent with the extent of his involvement in customs activities, covering Community customs legislation, held by any of the following:

a customs authority of a Member State;
an educational establishment recognized, for the purposes of such qualification, by the customs authorities of a Member State;
- a professional or trade association recognized by the customs authorities of a Member State or accredited in the Community in accordance with Community provisions in force; or

(ii) as member of a trade association or professional body proves to apply its own quality standards at European level adopted by a European Standardization Body and thus his quality of service is certified by this body and endorsed by the trade association at European level; or

b) For the practical standards of competence:

(i) Has a minimum of 3 years practical experience on customs matters; if the applicant has been established for less than three years, practical experience on customs matters shall be judged on the basis of records and information that are available.

Next Steps

If you are thinking of applying for AEO or would like to discuss any other customs-related matter please contact us on (01905) 619229 or email us at: and our team of customs specialists will be only too pleased to assist you.


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