AEO is a mosaic word for Auhorized Economic Operator. The expression covers a quality insurance system that provides exclusive reconsideration with the customs authorities. The requestor can be a manufacturer, exporter, importer, customs agent, warehouse keeper, carrier and freight forwarder.

With the exception of manufacturers all of the mentioned company types can only request an AEO status if during their activities they come into contact with any customs related activities.

Why do they need the AEO status?

For example if a business would like to operate 24 hours a day independently of the opening hours of Customs authorities, then the AEO certificate is required or the „simplified licence” which has the same requirements.
The latter expires in one year, while the AEO certificate does not have an expiration, and has become a basic requirement for tender applications in product shipping and customs activities. I believe, that this is quite a strong pressure.

How long has AEO existed and since when are you involved in AEO adviser?

The AEO certificates have been available since January the 1st, 2008, but we have been involved with AEO since 2007. There was a pilot project running that year to prepare both businesses and the authorities for the AEO certification process. Thanks to this project, our application on 2008 2nd of January resulted in the first AEO certificate of Central Europe.

How many applications have you submitted since then?

Nearly fifty. This might not seem like a lot, but considering that the amount of certificates in Hungary at this time is around 150, then you can see that our performance is quite good. No one on the market provides the amount of AEO consulting that we do.

What is it that distinguishes you from the competition?

First of all, the accumulated professional experience, that can only be said of someone if „the mile is in their feet”. Second of all the complex system which we have developed. With these, we are able to prepare our clients for application and the audits in the shortest amount of time, regardless of which part of the chain of supply they belong to. Thirdly, the kind of professional attitude we harbor, which completely satisfies our clients’ needs. Consultancy to us does not mean that we just command and make our clients work for their money. The job of our colleagues encompasses all activities regarding AEO and often many other fields as well, including supporting our clients during the audits of the authorities. We really keep the interests of our clients in mind, and if necessary we even go into disputes with the authorities. We are able to do this, because we have such a knowledge in this field, that we know how far we can go in order to achieve the best result for our client without any negative impact.

What does „in the shortest amount of time” mean?

The application process of the AEO certificate is quite a long one, starting from the time that the company decides to proceed it is usually around one year. Our company provides outstanding performance in this field also. For example SANYO Hungary Kft.requested our services, but at that time we did not know that we only had a two week deadline to submit the application. We brainstormed, and implemented a custom strategy that we developed for this uncommon request. A one week long painstaking effort resulted in the said company now being a satisfied client who has received the certificate. I have to add, that the success was also due to their colleagues’ great cooperation and support.

This really is a fantastic achievement, but what is the case with a regular order?

Normally it usually takes two or three months to prepare for the submitting of the application.

The reception process usually takes around 30 days, followed by the assessment period, which is around 120+60 days starting from the time of submitting of the application. Our readers by this time are probably curious about the cost of our services. Unfortunately I have to disenchant anyone that thinks the AEO consultancy is like buying candy from a shop.

If a responsible service is expected from us, then we are required to perform a survey in the form of a personal meeting with the client in order to provide a quote. The price of the consultancy depends on many factors, some of which cannot be enumerated in the frame of this article.

The survey that is required for the quote is toll free anywhere in the whole country.

This is understandable, but still, how much does the consultation cost?

I see that I cannot divert you from this question. In the near future we will implement a state of the art form of service. The lower end of this service will be in the ten thousands (HUF) range while the higher end will definitely be in the six digit price range, depending on what kind of certificate the client would like to acquire.

Authorized Economic Operator, AEO Consultant of aeo.hu Kft., Szegvári Zoltán