Overview of AEO (Authorized Economic Operator)
Following the 9/11 terror attacks on the US, many countries/regions have joined forces to combat terrorism and C-TPAT and CSI (Container Security Initiatives), introduced by the U.S., have been part of this initiative. The EU amended the Community Customs Code and its implementing provisions in December, 2006. They provide traders (Authorized Economic Operator) that meet the compliance criteria for cargo security with preferential customs procedures. On January 1st 2008, the provisions for the AEO program will enter into force. In addition, it will become mandatory for traders to provide customs authorities with advance information on goods brought into, or out of the EU customs territory from July 1st 2009. AEO certified companies will be granted a streamlined approach to customs procedures and our European subsidiaries have already applied for and are preparing for this program.
Our Approach in USA
The amended Customs Law was enacted in 2007 with the aim of revising the existing Simplified Export Declaration Procedure. This new law is the US version of the AEO and offers preferential treatment to exporters who meet its high standards of compliance as well as a qualification system to obtain the preferential treatment. Smart Track Logistics was the first nationwide company to be allowed to benefit from these new procedures. We ensure enforcement of compliance management to enable accurate warehouse operations.
Our Approach in Europe
In Europe, a working group addressing this system was organized early on to make the necessary preparations for acquiring AEO certification. Having completed the application process, Smart Track Logistics is now awaiting certification.
Smart Track Logistics (Nederland) B.V. was selected by the customs authorities to be one of the pilot companies for this system, and in May 2008 it became the first US company in Europe to receive authorization. This reflects the trust of customs officials earned by Smart Track Logistics over many years of solid performance.
Several aspects are considered when awarding this qualification:
- Compliance in customs clearance operations
- Operation of an appropriate internal control system for logistics and customs clearance procedures
- Sound financial standing
- Implementation of an appropriate security management system