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The North East England Chamber of Commerce has a number of commercial offers around assisting businesses to achieve AEO status.

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)

What is AEO?

AEO status is an internationally recognised quality mark indicating that your role as a business in the international supply chain is secure, and that your customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant.

As Brexit leads us into uncertain times, one area of international trade that will not change when we leave the EU is the issue of customs compliance and safety and security in the supply chain. Individual governments have a continuous obligation to uphold such safety and security measures and it makes good sense for businesses to demonstrate compliance. Furthermore, AEO status is viewed as a likely facilitator for any of the possible Brexit outcomes.

You can apply for AEO status for customs simplification only, known as AEO-C or for AEO-S which covers the security and safety aspect of trade or you can apply for both.

If you hold AEO-C status, there are financial benefits such as:

  • a faster application process for customs simplifications and authorisations
  • reductions or waivers of comprehensive guarantees which are required for customs authorisations such as inward processing relief
  • a 70% reduction in a business’s deferment account guarantee (allowing you to reduce your bank charges when providing your bank guarantee)

You must also be a holder of an AEO-S status if you’d like to benefit from arrangements under mutual recognition agreements with third countries. The EU currently has mutual recognition with Norway, Switzerland, Japan, Andorra, the US and China. Further negotiations are currently taking place and will be launched in the near future with the other most important trading partners.

The North East England Chamber of Commerce has a number of commercial offers around assisting businesses to achieve AEO status.

The process of applying for AEO status can be quite lengthy, often daunting and very time-consuming, so with this in mind we are delighted to have secured the services of former HMRC International Trade Development Liaison Officer, Keith Robe, to help and advise our Global members so that they can achieve AEO status if they wish to do so.

Keith’s expert knowledge in this area is second to none, having been involved in training HMRC staff and the education of external businesses regarding the introduction of AEO & EU International Trade/Customs Security & Safety Law and the UK AEO programme since 2006. As representative of both HMRC and EU Customs, he has worked with the US Customs & Border Protection in the US negotiating AEO/C-TPAT Mutual Recognition for which he received the World Customs Organisation Certificate of Merit in 2011. He has facilitated the introduction of AEO in Brazil with Brazilian Customs and other government financial ministries, designing and delivering AEO workshops and seminars to assist in setting up their AEO programme.

Keith is qualified to carry out the Security and Safety Assessment to HMRC standards.

To learn more about the services we offer, please contact Jacqui Tulip on 07887 622725 or email