Version: 1.0.20.21 (2020-10-12 14:45)

Authorised Economic Operator

Traders established in the customs territory of the Union who is part of the international supply chain and is involved in customs-related operations, may apply for the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status.

Who can become an AEO? 

Traders established in the customs territory of the Union who is part of the international supply chain and is involved in customs-related operations, may apply for the AEO status.

What is it?

  • It is an EU partnership programme between the customs authority and the Economic Operator (EO) aiming to enhance international supply chain security and facilitate legitimate trade.
  • It is based on the Customs-to-Business partnership introduced by the World Customs Organisation (WCO).
  • The AEO status (authorisation) is granted by the competent customs authority and recognised by customs authorities in all Member States. The AEO authorisation is, therefore, an EU authorisation.

Why register?

The benefits include

  • easier admittance to customs simplifications
  • fewer physical and document-based controls
  • prior notification in case of selection for customs control
  • priority treatment if selected for control
  • possibility to request a specific place for customs controls
  • indirect benefits, such as
    • recognition as a secure and safe business partner
    • improved relations with Customs and other government authorities
    • reduced theft and losses
    • fewer delayed shipments
    • improved planning
    • improved customer service
    • improved customer loyalty
    • lower inspection costs of suppliers and increased co-operation

How to register?

To register as an Authorised Economic Operator, you will need to

  • ensure that you possess an EORI number from the customs authority of the EU country in which your business is established
  • apply to the competent customs authority where your main accounts for customs are accessible
  • submit your application online through the EU Trader Portal

Find further details about AEO and the EU Trader Portal on DG Taxation and Customs Union.

To check the customs procedures that apply to a specific product or partner country, please use My Trade Assistant.

For a basic description of the import and export process, and the general steps to take, please see our step-by-step guides.

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