Authorized Economic Operator (AEO)


An Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) is a professional specialized in foreign trade, in charge of facilitating the entry and exit of goods at customs points.

In the field of trade relations between different territories, the profile of Authorized Economic Operator stands out as a facilitating agent for customs operations.

In this line, conceptually, the main characteristic is identified with the performance of an economic activity within the customs field.

Within his main work, this professional must be able to offer conditions of security, protection and legal validity to imports and exports in which he mediates professionally.

The most common profiles in this range are carriers of all kinds, importing and exporting companies of products or legal representatives of companies present in the sector.

Mission of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO)

This type of professionals, or authorized companies, have the main objective of facilitating the entry and exit of goods in customs. For this, it must administratively and logistically ensure the validation of said shipments.

On the other hand, any natural or legal person that performs this commercial function must have an official certificate in the form of an AEO authorization.

It is global in nature and gives the possibility of working in the transport and supply of goods in customs in multiple territories.

Main features of an Authorized Economic Operator

This figure, very widespread in the field of foreign trade, has some characteristics that define it, such as the following:

  • Personality: Both natural and legal persons can obtain this commercial status.
  • Qualification and specialization: This type of operator must know the sector in depth.
  • Formal recognition: These professionals, in increasing numbers, have an official authorization for their performance. Although it is true that this is not an essential requirement, the customs authorities are progressively placing greater emphasis on this point.
  • Trust: The customs market in which it operates, often certifies the relationship of professional trust in each operator.
  • Safety character: The operator's profile must focus on preventing logistical incidents or criminal behavior, such as smuggling, illegal traffic of goods or terrorism.

Regulatory framework of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO)

This figure was born decades ago, after the consensus of the main multinational organizations related to foreign trade, such as the World Customs Organization.

The close relationship between international institutions has led to the creation of normative maps.

Thus, it stands out the bilateral commercial collaboration between multiple countries, or the actions undertaken, for example, by the European Commission in this matter.

The regulation of this figure assures the interested parties various conditions that facilitate their commercial work: they formally recognize their economic and operational solvency, allow the reduction of bureaucratic obstacles in the ports or have state protection in case of commercial incidents.

For example, in the European framework, this certification can be obtained through training and validation offered by qualified consulting companies. In addition, subsequently, it must comply with the validation of the European Union.

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