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Safety & Security

Enterprises involved in international trade and commerce may apply to the Customs for the status of Authorized Economic Operator (AEO). AEO certificate offers different advantages in international trade. The Customs grant various facilities for physical customs inspections to enterprises with the AEO status.

Enterprises that would like to qualify for the AEO status must meet a number of criteria.

There are three kinds of AEO certificates:

  • The Customs simplifications Certificate
  • The Security and safety Certificate
  • A combined Customs simplification and Security and safety certificate

The degree to which an enterprise is granted facilities depends on the certificate.

Background
Since the September 11, 2001 Attacks in New York, much attention has been focused on international safety and security measures. Concept of 'safety and security' has been included in the European customs legislation.

Enterprises and their suppliers involved in EU cross-border movements of goods will have to comply with this new legislation. When introducing new legislation the European Union intends to offer the business sector better facilities. These facilities should result in the reduction of logistic delays and administrative burdens. As of September 2007 enterprises may therefore apply for the status of Authorized Economic Operator (AEO). An AEO certificate is valid in all EU Member States.

The introduction of the AEO status is for EU Customs an important next step towards cooperation with the business sector. It fits in with the aim to 'horizontalize' supervision. This means that the business sector together with the Customs Department are responsible for a safe and incorruptible goods flow crossing external borders. It offers the prospect of ensuring together a safe logistic chain.

Consequences
With the introduction of the Authorized Economic Operator status, the flow of goods consists for the Customs of two parts: goods from certified enterprises and goods from non-certified enterprises. The Customs offer certain facilities for certified enterprises.

The holder of an AEO certificate:

  • is subjected to less physical inspection and document check
  • receives priority treatment of consignments if selected for controls
  • may request controls to be carries out at a certain place
  • does not have to meet the same criteria when applying for subsequent license

As of 1 July 2009 the holders of the Security and safety Certificate and the combined Customs simplification and Security and safety certificate receive the following additional advantages:

  • Possibility of prior notifications of controls
  • Possibility to submit a summary declaration

This means for non-certified enterprises that the Customs will continue to carry out the traditional supervision. Deployment of modern inspection means that the Customs reduce logistic delays for these flows of goods as well.