minutes de lecture

Authorized Economic Operator (AEO): a gateway to simplified, reliable international trade

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To facilitate trade while enhancing the reliability of global supply chains, the World Customs Organization (WCO) has introduced the concept of Authorized Economic Operator (AEO). In this context, we will explore in detail what AEO status entails, how to acquire it, and the benefits it brings to companies holding this recognition.

The AEO is an international recognition that a company meets rigorous standards of customs compliance and security. Its primary objective is to strengthen collaboration between customs authorities and economic players, by establishing a partnership built on mutual trust.

To obtain AEO status, companies must meet strict criteria established by the WCO and national customs authorities. Requirements may vary from country to country, but in general, companies must prove their financial stability, compliance with customs regulations, track record of compliance and commitment to supply chain security.

The advantages of AEO status are manifold. They include simplification of customs formalities, priority treatment within these processes, accreditation of credibility and professionalism in international trade, and access to programs that bring additional benefits in terms of security, compliance and international recognition.

All links in the international supply chain are eligible for AEO status, whatever their size: importers, exporters, carriers, logisticians, airport entities responsible for transit and temporary storage of freight, and customs and forwarding agents.

To obtain AEO status, it is strongly recommended to appoint an AEO manager within the company. This person will be responsible for overseeing the self-assessment, defining a timetable for compiling the file, acting as a point of contact with customs during the audit, and ensuring ongoing compliance with the obligations associated with this status. The Cellule Conseil aux Entreprises (CCE) within the Pôle d'Action Économique (PAE) of the Direction Régionale des Douanes is available to support companies throughout this process.