On January 1, 2008, the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) came into effect. It was introduced in the Security Amendment to the Customs Code and responded to the aim of establishing an EU-wide risk management framework to support a common approach to maintaining the right balance between customs controls and the facilitation of legitimate trade.
The "Authorized Economic Operator" status means, from its origins, that any operator established in the Customs Territory of the Union may, with the authorization of the Customs authorities, benefit from the granting of facilities with regard to security and safety controls and/or simplifications established within the Customs authority.
An AEO can be defined as an economic operator who, in the context of his customs operations, is considered reliable throughout the EU territory and who, as a result, is entitled to enjoy various advantages in the EU territory.
AEO status is open to all economic operators, including small and medium-sized enterprises, regardless of their role in the international supply chain.