AEO is the abbreviation for Authorized Economic Operator. A program created by the World Customs Organization (OMA) to certify companies and professionals who operate in the customs management of foreign trade as reliable. The certification is voluntary and allows these companies to have special treatment in customs transit all over the countries that join the program and sign cooperation agreements.
What is the WCO – World Customs Organization?
The WCO has the mission to increase the effectiveness of customs throughout the world. Established in 1952, as a customs cooperation council, the WCO has since contributed to standardize and modernize customs systems. There are 179 associates who together account for 98% of international trade.
Why was the AEO program created?
Through the AEO program, the World Customs Organization aims to hinder the transit of smuggling, drugs, arms, money laundering and other illicit charges that tend to finance terrorism, directly or indirectly. Consider that a company that has obtained the AEO certification will be able to carry its loads internationally with priority customs, since it is a partner considered reliable. Soon the customs around the world will be more attentive to the loads of companies not certified. The trend is for logistics integration, customs transparency, facilitation and simplification of processes, and fairness in the analysis of Federal Revenues.
Who can be an Authorized Economic Operator?
Importers, exporters, transporters, cargo agents, warehousemen under customs control, port or airport operators and customs brokers. Trading companies and commercial importing and/or exporting companies, for the time being, can not be AEO, except when they prove direct action, that is, import and/or export exclusively for their own account. There is no provision for the certification of dispatch commissioners either.
What are the requirements to be an Authorized Economic Operator?
In general terms, in Brazil, the company must have a TAX ID with record of federal tax collection for more than 24 months and prove regular performance in this period as an international cargo operator. It is also essential that the company does not have tax debts or active debt with the Union. Caution, if the organization has attempted to join the AEO program and has previously failed, will need to wait more than 6 months to submit a new evaluation (unless it can justify the impossibility of meeting the criteria required at the time). And, finally, to the customs agents, it is mandatory to have at least 3 years of experience, in addition to passing an examination of technical qualification given by the Federal Revenue.
How do I apply for AEO Certification?
Each country will generate its own rules. In Brazil, to apply for the AEO Certification, companies must follow the following steps:
- Verification of its admissibility to the AEO Program;
- Fulfill a self-assessment to the AEO Program;
- Completion of a complementary validation report, when applicable;
- Opening of digital service dossier;
- And gathering of documents by e-CAC (a public software).
Which countries have already adhered to the AEO Certification?
Canada joined the program in 1995. For that, the AEO Certification is called Partners in Protection (PIP) and has 1,535 certified companies. The United States, which has participated in the program since 2001, has 10,832 certified companies. Worldwide, the program is already deployed in more than 62 countries and there are about 16 nations in the pipeline. Luckily that number changes progressively all the time. It has become increasingly clear that this tool is effective in securing the international logistics chain and that actions like this can curb terrorism globally.
What are the advantages of an AEO?
In case of Brazil, the authorized economic operator will have its name published on the website of the Brazilian Internal Revenue Service and may make use of the AEO logo, according to the brand manual. The AEO will have a point of contact at the Federal Revenue Office to clarify the customs issues related to the program. The AEO may also participate in an Advisory Forum to contribute to the improvement of the program in Brazil, in addition to seminars and training. Some of the modalities of AEO Certification still offer:
- Reduced time spending in export and import customs operations;
- Immediate parameterization and conference priority, where applicable, in the Export and Import Declarations (DI);
- Waiver of guarantee in Customs Transit;
- Response to the tax classification query in up to 40 days;
- Early registration of the Import Declaration (DI) in the maritime modal;
- The faster parameter setting (green) on temporary admission.
There are different modalities available for an Authorized Economic Operator, but from the practical point of view, these are the main benefits of the program. There are also specific procedures for companies that have undergone processes of merger, acquisition or incorporation of organizations certified as AEO.
Braver Corporation is specialized in the AEO program. We believe in the figure of the Authorized Economic Operator and we are at your service for strategic assistance in the certification process. Contact us for further information.