Will AEO become a must under the new Union Customs Code | KPMG Belgium
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Will AEO become a must under the new Union Customs Code?

Will AEO become a must under the new Union Customs Code

Will your company need to acquire AEO status?

Will your company need to acquire AEO status?


Since 2008, European companies which are considered a reliable link in the international trade chain can apply for the status of “Authorized Economic Operator” (AEO). AEO is a quality label for global trade and triggers a “preferred partner status” vis-à-vis the Customs Authorities. Today, the success of AEO is not always clear-cut, and we see big discrepancies between the EU Member States. The reason for that is quite simple as currently the European legislator left it up to the national Customs Authorities to define and put in practice the specific benefits linked with the AEO status.

However, as of 1 May 2016, the new Union Customs Code (‘UCC’) becomes applicable, in which AEO will play a substantial role and its benefits will be compulsory and more standardized in all Member States.

In case your organization has (or wants to obtain) customs authorizations or simplifications, but does not yet have AEO status, we would strongly suggest to assess the impact of the new customs legislation on your business setup and supply chain.


KPMG can help you:

AEO certificates are not granted lightly, and companies could perceive the application process as complicated and burdensome.

Our experienced KPMG Global Trade and Customs team can provide you with step-by-step guidance throughout the whole AEO application procedure; from the project roll-out to the moment the AEO certificate is granted. Our approach is always tailor-made and full-flex; whether you want full assistance or merely a coordination and helpdesk function, we are confident that KPMG will be able to meet your needs.



In the near future, we expect that AEO will become even more important than it is today, and the introduction of the new Union Customs Code will definitely give a boost to the number of AEO applications in Belgium. Here are some examples of tangible advantages which will only be granted to companies which are AEO certified or have duly demonstrated that they comply with (some) of the AEO conditions: 

  • Obtain/retain authorizations for special customs procedures (e.g. warehouse, IPR, etc.);
  • Obtain/retain authorizations for using simplified customs procedures such as ‘Entry into the Declarants Records’, including a waiver to physically present your goods to Customs;
  • Reduce your amount of customs guarantees
  • Be ready for the next generation of simplifications, such as ‘centralized clearance’, ‘self- assessment’, the ‘green lanes’, etc.

We believe that the Union Customs Code is the beginning of a new era, and that AEO will become a must for companies professionally involved in international trade.


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