European Union Supply Chain Security Programs

Authorized Economic Operators (AEO)

The European Community’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program took effect on January 1, 2008. The stated purpose of the program is to provide certain benefits to certified traders (Authorized Economic Operators/AEOs) that voluntarily agree to adopt and integrate the AEO program’s security and other criteria into their supply chains.

 The AEO status may be granted by an EU Member State to any economic operator who, in the course of its business, is involved in the import, transport or export of goods to or from the customs territory of the Community, and who has been certified to meet the AEO criteria.

 AEOs may benefit from simplifications provided for by the customs rules and/or facilitation with regard to customs controls related to security and safety, according the type of AEO certificate they obtain. The European Commission issued Guidelines for Authorized Economic Operators.

 The European Commission also maintains a database of economic operators that hold a valid AEO certificate and have agreed to the publication of their details. Access the Commission’s database.

Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number

A single registration number for economic operators that engage in customs activities in one or more Member States in the European Community has been mandatory since 1 July 2009.

This single registration number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification/EORI number) must be used by any economic operator that does Customs business within the European Community. This requirement applies irrespective of whether such an economic operator is established in or outside the European Community.

For liner shipping companies, the EORI number will not only be required in the future mandatory advance cargo filing, but must also be included in arrival manifests and summary declaration for temporary storage.

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