Authorised Economic Operator status

Importing? Exporting? Setting up a customs agency? - Start with AEO

Many economic operators are looking for solutions that will help them simplify processes within their companies and save money. The European Union offers business entities the AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) status, which is associated with numerous facilitations and simplifications to safely manage supply chains.

Obtaining the status of an authorized economic operator in the field of customs simplifications (AEO C) and safety and security (AEO S) is regarded as one of the most effective ways to develop a business based on international trade or transport. Currently, over 18 thousand entities in the EU have been granted AEO authorization.

Who can become an AEO?

Any economic operator based in the European Union who is part of the international supply chain and is involved in customs activities may apply for AEO status. To do so, they must first meet certain criteria in terms of:

  • The absence of any serious infringement or repeated infringements of customs and tax regulations, including no record of serious criminal offenses related to the applicant’s business activity.
  • A satisfactory level of control over operations and the movement of goods.
  • Documented solvency.
  • Meeting practical standards of competence or professional qualifications directly related to the activity carried out (AEO C only).
  • Appropriate safety and security standards (AEO S only).

How long does it take to obtain AEO authorization?

Adapting a company to meet AEO requirements, including preparing its self-assessment questionnaire and application, may take anywhere from a week to several months. Once the application is accepted (usually taking up to 30 days), customs authorities have 120 days to issue the AEO decision (this timeframe may be extended).

The support of an experienced tax advisor significantly enhances the efficiency of the process.

Why is it worth it?

Having the AEO status shortens customs clearance time – below you will find a list of simplifications that reduce the time of international transport of goods.

Easier access to customs simplificationsX 
Fewer physical and document-based inspectionsXX
Advance notification if selected for a physical inspection X
Advance notification in selected for a customs inspectionX 
Priority treatment if selected for inspectionXX
Ability to request conducting such inspections at specific locationsXX
Mutual recognition with selected non-EU countries, e.g. the USA X

Additionally, AEO brings numerous indirect benefits:

  • International recognition as a secure and safe business partner.
  • Improved relations with customs and other state authorities.
  • Fewer delayed shipments.
  • Improved delivery planning capabilities (predictability).
  • Reduced costs associated with customs inspections, etc.

How can we help?

We will conduct a preliminary audit to verify compliance with the AEO criteria, including an analysis of the company's procedures related to international trade to identify areas of risk.

We will develop procedures tailored to the company's business profile to obtain and maintain the authorization.

We will conduct training for employees, in particular for those responsible for customs and tax settlements.

Together with the applicant, we will prepare a draft permit application and a self-assessment questionnaire.

Feel free to contact us

Agnieszka Kisielewska

Partner | Tax adviser | Head of the customs and excise team
T: (+48) 600 097 363