Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Status Discussed at Chamber International Event

11 November 2015

THE significance of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status in international trade was the theme of a seminar held by Chamber International in Leeds this summer.

The seminar, at international law firm Addleshaw Goddard, considered the benefits of AEO accreditation to businesses which trade internationally and companies which support them, including logistics and forwarding operators.

The three main speakers at the seminar, held jointly with the Institute of Export, were regional HMRC international trade development liaison Officer, CITEX Operations and Local Compliance,  Keith Robe, who explained the reasons for AEO, the benefits of accreditation and how it will fit with the Union Customs Code from 2016;  commercial head of sales, UK, Ireland & international markets at Premier Farnell plc, Simon Whittaker who explained how the company gained AEO accreditation,  and trade compliance development manager at global logistics company,  Kuehne + Nagel Ltd, Geoff Tyler.

An AEO certificate is increasingly considered an internationally-recognised quality mark demonstrating that a company’s role in the supply chain is secure, with customs controls and procedures which are efficient and compliant. Businesses with accreditation, under the UCC, should gain quicker access to simplified customs procedures, fiscal benefits, and in some cases, the ability to reduce some of the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) ‘touch points’ in the international supply chain.

Geoff Tyler explained that Kuehne + Nagel Ltd has guided many businesses through AEO application by reviewing the trader’s processes operationally in line with the HMRC self-assessment questionnaire to ensure quality and compliance are present to meet the AEO criteria. Engagement support is also provided in the form of an AEO Gap Analysis focussed on where attention to missing, or incomplete, detail is required to achieve accreditation. 

Geoff Tyler said: “We are helping growing numbers of businesses prepare for AEO accreditation. We support them through the HMRC requirements, simplifying the processes during a period of intense review typically up to five days on site, culminating in a report structure which identifies their next steps through to application.

“We work with the client based upon HMRC’s expectations, seeking among other areas, properly-documented, traceable systems with accurate records and inventories. In our experience, businesses find this process useful as it requires them to re-examine their operations.

“Often, when they peel back the layers, it reveals the need for further internal review creating opportunities as well as identifying and mitigating risks that may have become ‘lost’ in their day-to-day operations. As UCC approaches businesses working globally need to consider achieving AEO as a positive step for their operations.”

Chamber International director, Tim Bailey, says: “AEO is set to become increasingly important for international trade when the Union Customs Code takes effect next year. Delegate businesses got a great deal out of this event and we’re grateful to those who gave up their time to discuss their experiences.”


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Chamber International - Authorised Economic Operator Seminar
Chamber International - Authorised Economic Operator Seminar
Chamber International - Authorised Economic Operator Seminar
Chamber International - Authorised Economic Operator Seminar