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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for the status of Authorized Economic Operator


Companies or individuals who are Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) have a special status: they are considered to be particularly reliable and trustworthy and can therefore claim simplifications and benefits in the context of customs clearance. Economic operators can be, for example, manufacturers, warehouse keepers, customs agents, exporters, forwarding agents, carriers or freight forwarders and importers.

You can apply for this status at your local main customs office.

Your reliability will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • compliance with customs and tax regulations
  • satisfactory accounting system
  • solvency
  • practical and professional competence, if applicable (AEOC and AEOC + AEOS)
  • appropriate security standards, where applicable (AEOS and AEOC + AEOS)

The status of Authorized Economic Operator is valid in all member states of the European Union and is not limited in time. The status can be granted in 3 variants:

  • AEO authorization "Customs Simplifications" (AEOC).
  • AEO authorization "Security" (AEOS)
  • AEO authorization "Customs Simplifications and Security" (AEOC and AEOS) (so-called combined authorization)

Once you have been approved as an AEO, you have the option of having your company included in the European Commission's list of AEO-approved companies.

  • You are an economic operator and basically established in the customs territory of the Union.
  • You have not committed any serious or repeated infringements of customs and tax regulations or serious criminal offenses in the course of your economic activity in the last 3 years.
  • You keep proper accounts.
  • You are solvent, that is
    • You are not in insolvency proceedings,
    • you have met your financial obligations regarding the payment of customs duties, taxes and other charges in the customs context in the last 3 years, and
    • You have positive net assets.
  • You ensure that your trading partners take care of the security of their part of the international supply chain.
  • You have the appropriate practical and professional skills.
  • Proof of proper accounting in the form of documents and declarations with:details of the accounting system used (financial accounting and materials and merchandise management), which must enable customs controls based on audits of the accounts
    • Information on the integration of the records you keep for customs purposes into the accounting system or the possibilities for reconciliation of the records with the accounting system.
    • information on the archiving of the data, from which an audit trail must be established
    • information on the logistic system, which must allow for the distinction between Union and nonUnion goods and their localization
    • information on the procedure for processing import and export licenses in connection with prohibitions and restrictions
  • proof of solvency in the form of balance sheets/P&L for the last 3 years and, if necessary, other documents proving solvency
  • Proof of practical and professional skills (if required):
    • at least 3 years of practical experience in the customs field or
    • compliance with a quality standard for the customs sector adopted by a European standardization organization, or
    • successful completion of a customs-related training course corresponding to the scope of your customs-related activities, or
    • Proof of the assignment of an AEOC (AEO authorization "customs simplifications") for customs matters
  • Proof of compliance with security standards (if required) in the form of documents, declarations or certificates on the measures taken

No costs are incurred. The involvement of external certifiers or assessors is not required.

There is no deadline.

The processing time depends on various factors, in particular the quality of the submitted questionnaire and the size of the company. The responsible main customs office will decide on your application after 120 days at the latest. An extension of the deadline is possible.

  • Appeal. Detailed information on how to file an appeal can be found in the rejection or approval notice.
  • Action before the fiscal court

Forms available: Yes

Written form required: Yes

Informal application possible: No

Personal appearance required: No

Online services available: Yes

You must submit the application to your local main customs office. You can fill out the form in the internet application or print it out and fill it out yourself:

Internet application:

  • Open the internet application for the issuance of an AEO authorization.
  • Click on "Form Internet Application for AEO Authorization".
  • Fill out the form.
  • Click on "Submit application" and submit the application to the relevant main customs office.
  • Print the form afterwards and sign it.

Paper form:

  • Open the Customs Administration website and download the "Application for AEO Authorization (Form 0390)."
  • Then print the form, fill it out and sign it.

Both when filling it out via the internet application and in paper form, the next steps are as follows:

  • Save the form electronically on a data carrier, for example, a USB stick or CD.
  • Also download the Customs Authorization Questionnaire and complete Parts I to V (AEOC only) or I to IV and VI (AEOS only) or I to VI (AEOC + AEOS).
  • It is advisable to contact your contact person at the responsible main customs office before processing in order to clarify any open questions regarding your application and, if applicable, the questionnaire.
  • Print out the completed questionnaire and save it additionally on the data carrier.
  • Attach all required documents, either in paper form or electronically on the data carrier.
  • Send the printed form in paper form as well as the electronic copy including the questionnaire and the additional documents on the data carrier by mail to your responsible main customs office.
  • The main customs office will check your application and send you a written decision.

There are no clues or specifics.

Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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