Authorised economic operator (AEO)

The concept of authorised economic operator (AEO) was instituted in the wake of the attacks of 11 September 2001. Its purpose is to make trade more secure.

Under the auspices of the World Customs Organisation, customs authorities have formulated a global strategy to protect international trade, a vital source of economic wealth for states. The purpose of the strategy is to:

  • develop an environment for regulating trade that is beneficial to reliable economic operators; and
  • enhance the safety of the international supply chain.

In the European Union (EU), the Union Customs Code (UCC) has incorporated this strategy by implementing the approval of authorised economic operators.

In addition to affording certain legal benefits in terms of customs-related matters and security, AEO authorisationl encourages businesses to adapt their structure to customs procedures. The authorisation process provides an opportunity for businesses to evaluate and assess their procedures, which results in:

  • better internal control;
  • better communication between departments;
  • optimised logistics and customs procedures.

AEO authorisation also promotes better relations between customs authorities and businesses, based on mutual trust. At the international level, recognition of this authorisation offers a competitive advantage as it facilitates trade with another AEO-certified businesses or those certified by an equivalent authorisation.

Some examples of equivalent authorisations are:

  • in the United States: the "Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism – C-TPAT";
  • in China: the "Interim Measures of Customs Administration for Enterprise Credit Management – IMECM".

In Luxembourg, the point of contact for AEO-related matters is the Customs and Excise Agency (Administration des douanes et accises – ADA).

Who is concerned

Eligible businesses

All business involved in the international supply chain – regardless of size – that engage in customs activities may apply for AEO authorisation:

  • goods manufacturers;
  • importers;
  • exporters;
  • customs representatives;
  • transport operators;
  • consignors;
  • consolidators;
  • airport terminal operators;
  • warehousing services providers;
  • other.

Applicants should refer to the Authorised Economic Operators Guidelines, which are available in PDF form (in English only) on the website of the European Commission.

Types of authorisations

There are 2 types of AEO authorisations:

  • "AEOC" (Authorised Economic Operator – Customs simplifications): economic operator authorised for customs simplifications;
  • "AEOS" (Authorised Economic Operator – Security and safety): economic operator authorised for safety and security.

Depending on the type of business, applicants may choose:

  • one of the 2 authorisations; or
  • a combined authorisation, known as "AEOF" or "AEO C/S".

Prerequisites

The business must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • satisfactory history of compliance with customs requirements and tax provisions;
  • no serious criminal offences in connection with the customs-related activity engaged in;
  • an effective system for managing trade and transport records, permitting the appropriate customs inspections to be carried out;
  • proof of financial creditworthiness;
  • practical standards of professional skills or qualifications related directly to the activities engaged in (AOEC or AEOF);
  • existence of appropriate safety and security standards (AEOS or AEOF).

Preliminary steps

Effective 1 October 2019, new applications for AEO authorisation are submitted electronically via the EU Trader Portal.

Among other things, this standardised EU interface for operators is used to communicate information on AEO authorisation-related applications and decisions. The portal was designed for the purpose of facilitating and streamlining the communication of information on AEO operator-related applications, decisions, authorisations and management procedures.

To apply for authorisation, economic operators must have an EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification number), which is issued by the ADA.

Economic operators must also create a user account and UUM&DS password to log on the EU Trader Portal for eAEO.

Further information on the customs decision system and UUM&DS passwords can be found on the European Commission website.

How to proceed

Processing the application and audit

Upon receiving the application, the ADA will assess its admissibility within 30 days.

If additional information is required, it must be submitted to the ADA within 30 days.

If the application is found to be admissible, an in-depth audit will be conducted to ascertain whether the business fulfils the criteria required to be granted AEO status.

Based on the outcome of this audit, the ADA will either:

  • grant AEO authorisation; or
  • deny the application.

The ADA will issue its decision within 120 days of receiving the application.

This time limit may be extended by up to 60 days.

When AEO status is granted, the operator is registered in the European authorised economic operators database.

Benefits of authorisation

Depending on the type of AEO authorisation, businesses enjoy many:

  • direct benefits, such as:
    • easier access to customs simplifications;
    • fewer physical and document inspections;
    • prior notice if selected for a document or physical inspection, etc.;
  • indirect benefits that are not directly related to customs activity in and of itself. These include:
    • recognition as a safe and reliable trading partner;
    • better relations with customs authorities and other public authorities, etc.

A full list of the direct and indirect benefits may be found on the official customs and excise duty portal.

In addition, AEOC authorisation or compliance with certain AEOC criteria is often one of the conditions for qualifying for customs simplification in a range of procedures, such as centralised customs clearance, self-assessment and entry in declarants' records (EiDR).

Recognition

AEO status granted by Luxembourg is recognised by all EU customs authorities.

Obligations

Businesses must notify the ADA of any major event that could affect their authorisation.

Validity and regular inspections

AEO certificates are valid indefinitely.

However, the ADA regularly assesses AEO authorisations and the benefits granted to AEO businesses.

ADA assessments are based on:

  • the outcome of the inspections described in the inspection plan;
  • notifications issued by the AEO business on changes in its activities, structure, procedures, etc.;
  • other general or specific information that could affect the benefits granted to the business;
  • a determination of whether the AEO authorisation holder is still in control of the risks to which they are exposed.

If one of the components of the regular assessment indicates that the business no longer has control over one or more risks, the ADA will notify the business in question and provide instructions on how to improve.

Sanctions

In the event of non-compliance with the conditions of granting AEO status, the ADA may suspend or withdraw the AEO authorisation.

Appeals

A negative decision further to an application for authorisation of AEO status, or a decision to withdraw or suspend AED authorisation, is an administrative decision. As such, the business may dispute them through the usual channels of appeal. As such, they may lodge either:

Appeals must be lodged within the legally required time limits to be admissible.

Forms / Online services

Authorised Economic Operator - application form

To complete your application, the information about you collected from this form needs to be processed by the public administration concerned.

That information is kept by the administration in question for as long as it is required to achieve the purpose of the processing operation(s).

Your data will be shared with other public administrations that are necessary for the processing of your application. For details on which departments will have access to the data on this form, please contact the public administration you are filing your application with.

Under the terms of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, you have the right to access, rectify or, where applicable, remove any information relating to you. You are also entitled to withdraw your consent at any time.

Additionally, unless the processing of your personal data is compulsory, you may, with legitimate reasons, oppose the processing of such data.

If you wish to exercise these rights and/or obtain a record of the information held about you, please contact the administration in question using the contact details provided on the form. You are also entitled to file a claim with the National Commission for Data Protection (Commission nationale pour la protection des données), headquartered at 15, boulevard du Jazz L-4370 Belvaux.

By submitting your application, you agree that your personal data may be processed as part of the application process.

Opérateur économique agréé – Demande d’autorisation

Les informations qui vous concernent recueillies sur ce formulaire font l’objet d’un traitement par l’administration concernée afin de mener à bien votre demande.

Ces informations sont conservées pour la durée nécessaire par l’administration à la réalisation de la finalité du traitement

Les destinataires de vos données sont les administrations compétentes dans le cadre du traitement de votre demande. Veuillez-vous adresser à l’administration concernée par votre demande pour connaître les destinataires des données figurant sur ce formulaire. Conformément au règlement (UE) 2016/679 relatif à la protection des personnes physiques à l'égard du traitement des données à caractère personnel et à la libre circulation de ces données, vous bénéficiez d’un droit d’accès, de rectification et le cas échéant d’effacement des informations vous concernant. Vous disposez également du droit de retirer votre consentement à tout moment.

En outre et excepté le cas où le traitement de vos données présente un caractère obligatoire, vous pouvez, pour des motifs légitimes, vous y opposer.

Si vous souhaitez exercer ces droits et/ou obtenir communication de vos informations, veuillez-vous adresser à l’administration concernée suivant les coordonnées indiquées dans le formulaire. Vous avez également la possibilité d’introduire une réclamation auprès de la Commission nationale pour la protection des données ayant son siège à 15, boulevard du Jazz L-4370 Belvaux.

En poursuivant votre démarche, vous acceptez que vos données personnelles soient traitées dans le cadre de votre demande.

Authorised Economic Operator - explanatory notes

To complete your application, the information about you collected from this form needs to be processed by the public administration concerned.

That information is kept by the administration in question for as long as it is required to achieve the purpose of the processing operation(s).

Your data will be shared with other public administrations that are necessary for the processing of your application. For details on which departments will have access to the data on this form, please contact the public administration you are filing your application with.

Under the terms of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, you have the right to access, rectify or, where applicable, remove any information relating to you. You are also entitled to withdraw your consent at any time.

Additionally, unless the processing of your personal data is compulsory, you may, with legitimate reasons, oppose the processing of such data.

If you wish to exercise these rights and/or obtain a record of the information held about you, please contact the administration in question using the contact details provided on the form. You are also entitled to file a claim with the National Commission for Data Protection (Commission nationale pour la protection des données), headquartered at 15, boulevard du Jazz L-4370 Belvaux.

By submitting your application, you agree that your personal data may be processed as part of the application process.

Opérateur économique agréé – Notes explicatives

Les informations qui vous concernent recueillies sur ce formulaire font l’objet d’un traitement par l’administration concernée afin de mener à bien votre demande.

Ces informations sont conservées pour la durée nécessaire par l’administration à la réalisation de la finalité du traitement

Les destinataires de vos données sont les administrations compétentes dans le cadre du traitement de votre demande. Veuillez-vous adresser à l’administration concernée par votre demande pour connaître les destinataires des données figurant sur ce formulaire. Conformément au règlement (UE) 2016/679 relatif à la protection des personnes physiques à l'égard du traitement des données à caractère personnel et à la libre circulation de ces données, vous bénéficiez d’un droit d’accès, de rectification et le cas échéant d’effacement des informations vous concernant. Vous disposez également du droit de retirer votre consentement à tout moment.

En outre et excepté le cas où le traitement de vos données présente un caractère obligatoire, vous pouvez, pour des motifs légitimes, vous y opposer.

Si vous souhaitez exercer ces droits et/ou obtenir communication de vos informations, veuillez-vous adresser à l’administration concernée suivant les coordonnées indiquées dans le formulaire. Vous avez également la possibilité d’introduire une réclamation auprès de la Commission nationale pour la protection des données ayant son siège à 15, boulevard du Jazz L-4370 Belvaux.

En poursuivant votre démarche, vous acceptez que vos données personnelles soient traitées dans le cadre de votre demande.

Authorised Economic Operator - Self assessment questionnaire

To complete your application, the information about you collected from this form needs to be processed by the public administration concerned.

That information is kept by the administration in question for as long as it is required to achieve the purpose of the processing operation(s).

Your data will be shared with other public administrations that are necessary for the processing of your application. For details on which departments will have access to the data on this form, please contact the public administration you are filing your application with.

Under the terms of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, you have the right to access, rectify or, where applicable, remove any information relating to you. You are also entitled to withdraw your consent at any time.

Additionally, unless the processing of your personal data is compulsory, you may, with legitimate reasons, oppose the processing of such data.

If you wish to exercise these rights and/or obtain a record of the information held about you, please contact the administration in question using the contact details provided on the form. You are also entitled to file a claim with the National Commission for Data Protection (Commission nationale pour la protection des données), headquartered at 15, boulevard du Jazz L-4370 Belvaux.

By submitting your application, you agree that your personal data may be processed as part of the application process.

Opérateur économique agréé – Questionnaire d'auto-évaluation

Les informations qui vous concernent recueillies sur ce formulaire font l’objet d’un traitement par l’administration concernée afin de mener à bien votre demande.

Ces informations sont conservées pour la durée nécessaire par l’administration à la réalisation de la finalité du traitement

Les destinataires de vos données sont les administrations compétentes dans le cadre du traitement de votre demande. Veuillez-vous adresser à l’administration concernée par votre demande pour connaître les destinataires des données figurant sur ce formulaire. Conformément au règlement (UE) 2016/679 relatif à la protection des personnes physiques à l'égard du traitement des données à caractère personnel et à la libre circulation de ces données, vous bénéficiez d’un droit d’accès, de rectification et le cas échéant d’effacement des informations vous concernant. Vous disposez également du droit de retirer votre consentement à tout moment.

En outre et excepté le cas où le traitement de vos données présente un caractère obligatoire, vous pouvez, pour des motifs légitimes, vous y opposer.

Si vous souhaitez exercer ces droits et/ou obtenir communication de vos informations, veuillez-vous adresser à l’administration concernée suivant les coordonnées indiquées dans le formulaire. Vous avez également la possibilité d’introduire une réclamation auprès de la Commission nationale pour la protection des données ayant son siège à 15, boulevard du Jazz L-4370 Belvaux.

En poursuivant votre démarche, vous acceptez que vos données personnelles soient traitées dans le cadre de votre demande.

Authorised Economic Operator - Fragebogen zur Selbstbewertung

Ihre in diesem Formular erfassten personenbezogenen Informationen werden von der zuständigen Verwaltungsbehörde verarbeitet, um Ihren Antrag erfolgreich abzuschließen.

Diese Informationen werden von der Behörde für den zur Verarbeitung erforderlichen Zeitraum gespeichert.

Die Empfänger Ihrer Daten sind die im Rahmen Ihres Antrags zuständigen Verwaltungsbehörden. Um die Empfänger der in diesem Formular erfassten Daten zu erfahren, wenden Sie sich bitte an die für Ihren Antrag zuständige Behörde.

Gemäß der Verordnung (EU) 2016/679 zum Schutz natürlicher Personen bei der Verarbeitung personenbezogener Daten und zum freien Datenverkehr haben Sie das Recht auf Zugang, Berichtigung und gegebenenfalls Löschung Ihrer personenbezogenen Informationen. Sie haben zudem das Recht, Ihre erteilte Einwilligung jederzeit zu widerrufen.

Weiterhin können Sie, außer in Fällen, in denen die Verarbeitung Ihrer Daten verpflichtend ist, Widerspruch einlegen, wenn dieser rechtmäßig begründet ist.

Wenn Sie diese Rechte ausüben und/oder Einsicht in Ihre Informationen nehmen möchten, können Sie sich unter den im Formular angegebenen Kontaktdaten an die zuständige Verwaltungsbehörde wenden. Sie haben außerdem die Möglichkeit, bei der Nationalen Kommission für den Datenschutz Beschwerde einzulegen (Commission nationale pour la protection des données, 15, boulevard du Jazz L-4370 Belvaux).

Wenn Sie Ihren Vorgang fortsetzen, akzeptieren Sie damit, dass Ihre personenbezogenen Daten im Rahmen Ihres Antrags verarbeitet werden.

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