As we move into 2021 and the dust from Brexit begins to settle, many businesses are left wondering how they can improve their international shipping logistics. Without the original agreements set in place within the EU, this process is likely to become more complex and challenging – at least for some time. However, an AEO accreditation could be one way to shorten delivery times, improve security and give backing to your business.

What is the AEO Accreditation

Also known as an Authorised Economic Operator scheme, an AEO-accreditations is a globally-recognised indicator that your business has an efficient and fully-compliant customs controls process. Over the past few years, it has become more of a prerequisite for the USA and Chinese-based companies, providing peace-of-mind and assurance.

What Types of AEO Exist

There are two types of AEO accreditation available to businesses from the UK and EU. These are:

AEO-C Customer Simplifications

This accreditation is issued to businesses that fulfil the criteria for:

  • Customs compliance.
  • Record keeping standards.
  • Financial solvency.
  • Practical standards of competence or professional qualifications related to the activity in question.

AEO-S Safety & Security

This accreditation is issued to businesses that fulfil criteria for:

  • Customs compliance.
  • Record keeping standards.
  • Financial solvency.
  • Appropriate security & safety standards.


The AEO accreditation process is long. It can take anywhere between 3-12 months, depending on your individual business, and then there are an additional 120 days required for customs to assess. This is largely the reason that many businesses put off gaining it. But, the benefits can be significant, including:

  • A lower risk score.
  • Reduced number of checks carried out at customs.
  • Priority treatments for customs control.
  • Reduced declaration requirements.
  • Guarantee waiver up to the level of your deferment account.

Who Can Apply for AEO Accreditation?

All businesses in the UK can apply for an AEO accreditation. The criteria you will need includes:

There are no restrictions in terms of business size and you can still apply if you use an agent for your customs matters.

During the application for your AEO, the HMRC will carry out checks to see whether your business meets the relevant criteria. This may mean having on-site audit visits, checking your tax and customs rules over a 3 year period, and assessing the efficiency of your commercial and transport records.

Radius Warehouse and Logistic Services are specialists in international freight movement and are here to support your business in logistics. Get in contact with a member of our team for more information about AEO and the best ways to minimise delays.