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What is an AEO?

An authorised economic operator (AEO) is a party involved in international trade that complies with World Customs Organization or equivalent supply chain security standards.


The World Customs Organization (WCO) defines an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) as a party involved in the international movement of goods in whatever function that has been approved by, or on behalf of, a national customs administration, so as to comply with WCO or equivalent supply chain security standards.

Who can be an AEO?
Any party involved in the international supply chain that carries out customs related activities, including manufacturers, exporters, importers, freight forwarders, warehouses, customs agents, logistics providers, carriers, port operators, airlines and others.

Is DSV an AEO?

Yes. DSV complies with the certification process in the more than 50 countries worldwide which are WCO members and where an AEO programme has been introduced.

What does DSV’s AEO status mean to you?
It means our rigorous internal processes in information systems management (integrity of information), merchandise security (integrity of employees and premises), compliance with customs regulations and economic-financial management meet agreed customs standards.

Essentially, an exporter working with certified supply chain partners vetted and approved by the import country’s customs authority can assume the process will be safer and quicker than working with partners who do not have accreditation.

AEO certification is recognised globally as a mark of quality which recognises our role in the international supply chain is secure and that our standards and procedures are efficient and that we are a trustworthy business partner.

Why should I use an AEO?

Apart from the peace of mind of knowing the AEO works to the highest security standards, benefits, generally, include:

  • Daily engagement with customs officials around the world
  • Good relations with customs officials around the world
  • Accelerated clearance times
  • Priority treatment 
  • Fewer physical and documentary controls
  • Less onerous entry and exit summary declarations
  • Improved risk management with regard to compliance with customs regulations and requirements regarding merchandise safety
  • High levels of communication and cooperation between supply chain partners
  • Integrated global solutions 
  • We start by defining requirements, auditing the project, to getting OAS authorisation
  • Our DSV software applications provide efficient and reliable solutions to economic operators

Why was the AEO scheme established?

Growing global trade and increased security threats to the movement of goods around the world forced customs administrations to focus on securing the flow of international trade as opposed to just collecting customs duties.

  • The WCO drafted the Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate global trade (SAFE) in response to these twin developments, and SAFE is built on four principles:
  • Advance electronic cargo information is harmonised
  • Each country follows a consistent approach to risk management to address security issues
  • If requested by the receiving country’s customs authorities, the sending country’s customs authorities will undertake outbound inspections of high-risk containers and cargo
  • Customs authorities will define the benefits to businesses which meet minimal supply chain standards.

The AEO programme is a core part of SAFE.