AEO certification

What It Means to Be an Authorised Economic Operator

We are pleased to announce that we are now an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO certification).

According to the UK government’s website:

“Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status is an internationally recognised quality mark that shows your business’s role in the international supply chain is secure and has customs control procedures that meet UK and EU standards.”

Right now, AEO status probably doesn’t mean a lot to you, but trust us, it’s a big deal. In a nutshell, it is a globally recognised quality mark that tells you our role within the international supply chain is secure and that all our custom controls and procedures are efficient and compliant.

Despite Boris’s recent dinner date with Ursula von der Leyen, we still have no idea what will happen when the UK and the EU formally part company. But one thing is certain after the transition period ends, AEO certification will be even more desirable as a valuable tool to make sure cargo keeps moving.

Why we applied for AEO

The news has been full of horror stories about what effect the potential delays in clearance will have on global supply chains. By achieving AEO status, we have firmly cemented our profile and competence regarding customs compliance and shows we are as prepared as possible for what awaits us beyond 2020.

For us, certification benefits our business enormously in terms of commercial paybacks and international recognition, but more importantly, it helps our customers through customs simplifications.

What AEO status means to our customers

If you’re involved in global imports or exports, it’s critical your carrier service provider delivers robust procedures and customs controls. Simple processes will get your goods through customs safely, securely and quickly.

When we leave the EU single market and customs union (should that be the final decision), all products imported or exported from the remaining EU countries are international shipments.

As we see it, there are two main benefits to you as our customers. The first is rigorous security. Our AEO certification identifies us as having vigorous procedures and that the overall security of the supply chain is more robust. As a result, risk is lowered in terms of theft and items lost in transit.

The second benefit is priority clearance. The certification effectively means being ‘fast-tracked’ through customs clearance. And should goods be subject to inspection, AEO consignments will get priority over others.

On their own, they make a pretty strong case for using an AEO certified carrier, but there’s more. It also means:

  • It is quicker and easier to get customs simplifications
  • Consignments are subjected to fewer physical and document checks at borders
  • More efficient transporting between borders
  • Reduced risk and effective checks on the trustworthiness of third parties
  • More efficient imports/export systems
  • Improved traceable flow of goods
  • Reduced waivers of deferment and comprehensive guarantees
  • Fewer delays in dispatch
  • Greater security and communications between supply chain partners
  • Improved customer confidence

AEO Certification is a win, win

It’s nice to know that despite all the upheaval and uncertainty of 2020 there is light at the end of the tunnel. The road will be far from smooth, but at least by achieving AEO status, we’re going some way to make your 2021 look a bit brighter.

Now all we just have to wait for the negotiators to do their thing and pull a rabbit out of the hat at the eleventh hour. Unlikely, but after this year there’s no telling what could happen.

Smart Directions is an AEO certified logistics company ready to smooth your import and export path in 2020 and beyond. Find out how they can benefit your business by calling the team on 01442 507 240.

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