As of October 1 2019, economic operators should introduce all new applications for authorised economic operator (AEO) status together with the self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) electronically. The transitional period set out by the EU legislation ended on September 30 2019 and after this day, it became mandatory to submit customs simplifications (AEOC) and/or security and safety (AEOS) applications together with the SAQ electronically by using the EU trader portal for electronic AEO (eAEO).
The eAEO platform is available on the EU trader portal, which is a harmonised trader interface. AEO holders and candidates as well as the member states should use the portal for the exchange of information concerning applications and decisions related to AEO authorisations.
In the EU alone, 17,290 entities hold AEO status, of which 866 have been obtained in Poland.
Any entrepreneur based in the EU who participates in the international trade of goods and performs customs formalities can apply for an AEO if the following criteria are met:
- Compliance with customs legislation and taxation rules and absence of criminal offences related to the economic activity;
- Appropriate record keeping;
- Financial solvency;
- Proven practical standards of competence or professional qualifications (only AEOC); and
- Appropriate safety and security standards (only AEOS).
AEO authorisation enables its holders to benefit from a number of facilitations granted by the Union Customs Code (UCC), e.g. fewer physical and document-based controls related to security and safety (AEOS) and related to other customs legislation (AEOC); and prior notification in case of selection for customs control (related to other customs legislation) (AEOC).
Mutual recognition expands the benefits of AEOs from the EU to other countries such as China, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the US. Preparation for Brexit and amendments in the Polish law on Simplified Import VAT accounting encourage an increasing amount of economic operators to apply for AEO status. The eAEO on the EU trader portal should facilitate and speed up the process of application for AEO status, including for the exchange of information related to AEO applications, decisions and their management.
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