SAFETY AND SPEED – THESE ARE THE TWO FUNDAMENTALS OF TRADE
In the ever developing competition the companies that can meet these requirements are the ones that can stay afloat, thus the acquisition of the AEO status can significantly stabilize its hold on the market.
After the terrorist attack on September 11th 2001, it was evident that the traffic of goods between countries needs to be made more safe. The World Customs Organization has devised a set of regulations aimed to improve and secure international trade. In the EU this was named AEO which stands for Authorized Economic Operator. „This expression covers a quality control system that ensures a mutual trust between the customs authorities and the business that has acquired this certificate, and thus it receives numerous benefits during the customs process” – says Szegvári Zoltán, the managing director of Aeo.hu Kft. This does not mean that the authorities do not scan the relevant companies’ products during the customs process, instead it means that it classifies them into a more safe category and because of this, the goods can reach the customer much faster.
An AEO is considered trustworthy in the EU zone and thus is entitled to numerous benefits inside the union. Not just the EU, but the USA and Japan have also officially recognized the status. This means that they treat the AEO certificate the same way as any similar local certificate. Along with the goods, the information also changes owners, so before any product would be transferred it has to be reported to the customs authorities what exactly the company wishes to transport.
If the authorities believe that the company is a threat, then they will inspect the shipment more thoroughly. The companies that ship goods are much safer if they have a certificate. A major benefit of the AEO certificate is that the goods can be treated, imported and manufactured 24 hours a day without the presence of the customs authorities. The status can be applied for by anyone whose business activity comes in touch with customs legislation and is a manufacturer, exporter, carrier, warehouse keeper, customs agent, freight forwarder or importer. The certificate can be requested by anyone from a one-man company to a multinational corporation. Three types of AEO certificate can be issued.
One of the certificates is meant for companies who would like to take part in a simplified customs process and in doing so they also receive financial benefits, since they do not have to pay import VAT. The safety and protection certificate is recommended for those companies that would like to take part in simplified safety and protection during the customs process when their shipment of goods is entering or leaving the EU customs zone.
The third type of certificate is the combination of the aforementioned two. Today the acquisition of the AEO certificate is not just a possibility, but has become a requirement that every company from freighters to customs agents need to have. It is important to know that since the beginning of 2008 only companies that are AEO certified can apply for tender applications in the EU – says Zoltán Szegvári.
“The biggest virtue of aeo.hu is that during preparations we do not try to shape the company’s existing systems to the AEO mold, instead we shape the requirements to the commissioner’s profile – emphasizes Zoltán. The usual time consumption of the preparations is 2-3 months which encompasses the necessary changes. The acquisition of the certificate is nearly a year long process starting from the time that the company hands in the application. In order for the trade to be completely safe, all members of the chain of supply need to have an AEO certificate, including the manufacturer, the carrier and the customs agent.”