The difference between meeting AEO criteria and being an authorised AEO
There’s little difference apart from the areas where authorisation is a specific requirement. The main difference is that in most cases only some of the AEO criteria have to be met, perhaps only 2 or 3 of the basic conditions. You may not want to go through the whole authorisation process.
AEO doesn’t automatically qualify you for any authorisations but in most cases it can make the authorisation process easier.
For example, if you’re an authorised AEO who wants to expand your business to include customs warehousing, your AEO status wouldn’t automatically qualify you for a customs warehouse authorisation. Further checks will be carried out concerning your new venture but HMRC won’t repeat tests previously done.
There’s no legal power which allows for the substitution of the AEO condition with other conditions (eg the provision of a guarantee or the imposition of alternative conditions).
The size or complexity of an applicant
AEO is available to anyone involved in the international supply chain where activities are covered by customs legislation. Procedures and processes appropriate to the business must be in place. For example, a micro business could have manual records which would be inappropriate for a larger business.
A new condition has been introduced covering competence or professional qualifications in most customs procedures. Also, the current test on compliance with customs rules has been expanded to cover all the taxation elements of your business.
Re-application for AEO
If you’re an existing AEO holder you don’t have to submit a new application, but your authorisation will need to be reassessed to take account of the new conditions. HMRCwill contact you when reassessment is due.