Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) update
HMRC have issued an update on the implementation of Authorised Economic Operators (AEO).
AEO is a recognised quality mark of a business’s customs control and operating procedures. Businesses that are actively involved in international trade and hold the AEO standard can, in many cases, fast-track shipments by reducing the number of safety and security checks performed by HMRC and other EU tax authorities. The AEO status became effective from 1 January 2008 and the status is recognised across all EU member states.
At 30 June 2009 almost 250 applications had been made by UK businesses, 80 of which have been fully processed. HMRC have identified a number of issues which has delayed certification of some of the remaining applications. HMRC are now stressing the importance of applicants conducting a safety and security risk assessment prior to submitting their application. Where this has not been completed, HMRC will ask the business to withdraw their application, complete the assessment and resubmit the application.
The European Commission, along with member states, are currently negotiating a mutual recognition agreement with countries including the USA, China, India and Japan. This will benefit AEO certificated businesses with fewer physical and document-based customs controls when importing goods into countries with mutual recognition agreements.