AEO Authorised Economic Operator status will become more important post-Brexit

The importance of AEO status is set to increase with the dramatic rise in customs declarations post-Brexit.

Gary Hollyoak, Customs Manager at Langdon Systems, explains what AEO actually is, highlights its benefits and advises against leaving it too late to apply…

Any companies considering applying for AEO status need to be aware that applications are currently taking between 3 and 9 months to complete so time is of the essence.


So, what is AEO?

AEO – Authorised Economic Operator – is an EU scheme to give ‘Trusted Trader Status’ to businesses which fulfil the required criteria. To be AEO certified you must be a fully registered EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) business in the EU and be able to show…

  • compliance
  • record keeping
  • solvency
  • professional qualifications and practical standards of competence

As of today, there are 623 traders registered for AEO in the UK. A slight increase, but it still leaves an enormous number of businesses in the UK that will not be able to take advantage of the benefits offered by AEO status.

What types of AEO are there?
There are currently three types of AEO; AEOC, AEOS and AEOF.


    • AEOC – Authorised Economic Operator for Customs

Benefits of AEOC are;

  • moving goods in temporary storage between different member states
  • a notification waiver when making an EIDR
  • a 70% reduction in a business’s deferment account guarantee
  • undertaking centralised clearance (when available)
  • completing self-assessment (when implemented)

AEOC holders could also benefit from a faster application process for customs simplifications, authorisations and reductions or waivers of potential debt guarantees.


    • AEOS – Authorised Economic Operator for Security Measures

Benefits include;

  • reciprocal arrangements and mutual recognition with countries outside the EU, for example, USA or trading partners that adopt the World Customs Organisation safe framework
  • physical integrity and access controls
  • logistical processes and, if appropriate, the handling of specific types of goods
  • personnel and identification of business partners

A holder of AEOS will benefit from:

  • a lower risk score – used to determine the frequency of customs physical and documentary checks
  • consignments being fast-tracked through customs control
  • reduced requirements for the mandatory pre-arrival/pre-departure Entry Summary Declarations or Exit Summary Declarations (EXS)


    • AEOF – Authorised Economic Operator Full

This full certificate is being phased out. If you want both Customs and Security, you now need to apply for both certificates separately.

On the 29th March 2019 the UK leaves the EU. Any existing AEO authorisations will still be effective and will be valid beyond Brexit. The UK could possibly have its own tariffs, and businesses that are not authorised could see their supply chain impacted at the EU border with additional documentation and security checks, leading to possible delays with supply.

At Langdon Systems, our customs experts provide AEO training programmes specifically designed around your company’s individual needs. For further details please call us on 01942 202202 or email