Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)

What are AEOs?

AEO status is a certified standard authorisation issued by customs administrations in the European Union (EU). It certifies that an economic operator has met certain standards in relation to:

  • safety and security
  • systems to manage commercial records
  • compliance with customs rules
  • financial solvency
  • practical standards of competence or professional qualifications.

This is primarily a trade facilitation measure that recognises reliable operators and encourages best practice in the international supply chain. As an AEO, you could benefit from:

  • recognition worldwide as safe, secure and compliant business partners in international trade
  • lower risk scores in risk analysis systems when profiling
  • priority treatment if physical controls are conducted
  • mutual recognition of AEO programmes under Joint Customs Cooperation Agreements which could result in faster movement of goods through third country borders
  • reduced data sets for entry and exit summary declarations (this only applies to AEO safety and security)
  • easier access to simplified procedures
  • reduction or waiver of comprehensive guarantees.

Who can apply for AEO status?

AEO is not mandatory. You can apply for AEO status if you are an economic operator established in the EU and are:

  • part of the international supply chain
  • and
  • involved in customs activities.

You must have an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number. The conditions for AEO status apply to all businesses regardless of size. Manufacturers, exporters, freight forwarders, warehouse-keepers, clearance agents, carriers and importers may all apply for AEO status.

You will find more information about AEO in the: 

How to apply for AEO status

  • Complete a self-assessment questionnaire
    Before you apply for AEO status you should complete this self-assessment questionnaire. This will help you to evaluate your procedures and ensure they meet the criteria for AEO. You will find help to complete the questionnaire in the explanatory notes for the self-assessment questionnaire.
  • Complete an application for AEO certificate 
    If you feel that your business will meet the criteria, you should complete the application for AEO certificate.
    From October 1 2019, you should submit your application electronically. You can do this by accessing the AEO page on the Commission website. Go to the section on how to apply and click on the EU Trader Portal for eAEO. Ensure that you are using a ROS registrated appliance when accessing the portal.

Who will evaluate your application for AEO?

Revenue staff will carry out the evaluation. The evaluation will always involve a visit to the premises covered by the application.

Further information

If you need further information contact: