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Security Amendment to the Customs Code | Who is concerned?

Security Amendment to the Customs Code | Who is concerned?
All economic operators involved in customs transactions and international logistics are concerned.

Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) and facilitation

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status is granted by Member States to economic operators. AEO status can be granted to any economic operator established in the EU that meets the following common criteria stipulated in customs law.

  • An appropriate record of compliance with customs requirements;
  • A satisfactory system of managing commercial and, where appropriate, transport records, which allows appropriate customs controls;
  • Proven financial solvency;
  • Where applicable, appropriate security and safety standards.

Economic operators who wish to apply for AEO status should apply to an AEO competent customs authority.

Authorised Economic Operators benefit both from simplifications provided for by the customs rules and/or facilitation with regard to customs controls related to security and safety, according the type of certificate they obtain.


What should traders know about AEO status?

Economic operators should be familiar with the guidelines on AEO

The AEO Guidelines ensure harmonised implementation of the AEO rules throughout the EU, guaranteeing the equal treatment of economic operators and transparency of the rules.  

The AEO guidelines consist of a set containing the guidelines themselves and three annexes:  the Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SaQ) and its explanatory note, the list of possible risks, threats and solutions and a Security declaration template.  The AEO guidelines together with their annexes allow the economic operator to understand the overall process and see if it is ready to submit a successful application. Thus, it is strongly recommended that an economic operator who wants to apply for  AEO status study the AEO guidelines and fill in the self-assessment questionnaire. This will help Customs and result in speeding up the process of gaining AEO status.

Economic operators are also entitled to use the EU AEO logo in order to promote themselves as AEO and be recognisable in the supply chain as secure partners.

This is the list of the economic operators who gained AEO status and provided their consent to make their name publicly available.  

For further detailed information see the AEO page of the main European Commission Taxation and Customs Union website.


Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI)

What does an economic operator need to do before starting customs activities in the EU?

Any economic operator established in the EU needs to have an EORI number. Economic operators established outside the EU have to be assigned an EORI number if they lodge a customs declaration, an Entry or an Exit Summary Declaration. AEO applicants in particular (see above) need to have an EORI number that they must enter in box 9 of the AEO application form (see also the Guidelines on EORI below).

Moreover, it is irrelevant if the economic operator is a company (legal person) or a natural person. Even an individual needs to have a valid registration number, used by one of the Member States as from 1 July 2009. Many Member States use their current identification systems. As such only new operators should register. In the last case the application should be sent to the relevant authorities of the Member States in which the economic operator is established (in case of EU economic operators) - see also the EORI Guidelinespdf(314 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  . Online access to EORI is available from our Databases web page.

An economic operator not established in the European Community customs territory also needs to apply for an EORI number. From 1 July 2009 economic operators from third countries need an EORI number in order to:

The list of other possible cases and exclusions is provided in the EORI Guidelinespdf(314 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  . Economic operators from third countries should apply for an EORI number in the country in which one of the above mentioned cases takes place. See the latest indicative information about the EORI National Implementationpdf(736 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  .


EORI e-learning tool

An e-learning course on EORI is now available for download.