EU Updates Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Guidelines

03 July 2012

The EU has issued updated AEO guidelines in a further attempt to ensure common practice in its application across all 27 Member States. The 77 page guidelines should be read in conjunction with the self assessment questionnaire and explanatory notes which were also updated in May 2012.

The key customs duty benefits of AEO status will be fully realised when the new customs code takes effect as should:

  • Negate the need for authorised parties to provide financial guarantees for duty suspended stock (currently customs warehousing, Inward Processing Relief, Processing under Customs Control)
  • Facilitate pan EU customs clearance from one country (allowing companies to simplify operations and concentrate customs expertise)
  • Enable self assessment of customs declarations

AEO status is likely to be an immediate benefit to:

  • Most CFSP authorised businesses (as much of the compliance work is already complete)
  • Companies with turn-over’s of £200m plus as this can dovetail well with Senior Accounting Officer provisions
  • Companies exporting to countries that mutually recognise the EU AEO authorisations as it speeds up customs clearance in those countries
  • Freight forwarders and other parties working with customers with £200m plus turn-overs as these companies must take steps to ensure any delegation of customs work is to “suitable” persons

Any companies interested in obtaining AEO status should start looking at this now as the authorisation process is likely to take time and HMRC resources are limited.

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