Over the last 15-20 years, Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status has become an internationally recognised quality standard or kitemark demonstrating that a company’s role in international supply is secure and that its customs control procedures have met the very highest standards.

There are 3 types of status depending on whether a company wants to be recognised for customs compliance excellence, safety and security measures, or both i.e. AEOC, AEOS, or both. Companies typically apply for this kitemark due to the numerous benefits it can deliver, most notably:

  • Improved ease and speed in obtaining customs simplifications and authorisations (IP, OP, etc.)
  • Reduced risk score leading to less customs documentary checks and inspections of your goods
  • A guarantee waiver up to the level of your Duty Deferment Account (DDA) meaning you don’t need to obtain a customs comprehensive guarantee
  • Priority treatment of your consignments at customs
  • Reduces entry and exit summary declarations requirements
  • Global recognition and reciprocal arrangements i.e. UK AEO status is widely recognised amongst global customs authorities across the EU, Japan, China, the US, Switzerland, and New Zealand.

Global Trade Department has worked with several clients to help them achieve this standard, considered to be a form of trust or self-auditing by HMRC. We are familiar with the evidence companies must show to demonstrate excellent standards of tax and customs compliance, record keeping, financial solvency, competence and professional qualifications, and safety and security.

This experience helps to shorten the time taken to obtain the authorisation and also improve the likelihood of being successful on first application.

Hands on support services

Global trade can exert pressure on internal know-how, capacity, and finances; indeed, this can dissuade many companies from embarking on it in the first place. Our Global Trade Manager programme bolsters your company’s efforts by managing your entire international trade function as integrated members of your team; once your revenues justify bringing on full-time staff, we help you recruit and onboard new hires.

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If you are a UK importer or exporter, it is essential you understand what is expected of you from a customs compliance perspective; the costs of getting this wrong can be significant. Our popular Trade Compliance Review is like a mini HMRC Audit, identifying discrepancies with processes and documentation that can be dealt with proactively.

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Depending on your business sector and geographical target market, the decision to establish an office overseas can be either a long-term ambition or an immediate imperative. Global Trade Department and its in-market associates guide companies navigate the challenges associated with establishing an overseas presence e.g. form of legal entity, local regulation, tax legislation, premises, staff, and more.

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Trading globally can be more costly than trading within your domestic market; traders need to seize opportunities to safeguard cash. Inward processing (IP) is a duty relief procedure that allows goods to be imported into the UK for processing or repair with suspension of import duties and VAT. With a 100% success rate of achieving full authorisation, we have saved clients £1000s in unnecessary duty and VAT.

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HMRC offers several customs facilitations and simplifications to help alleviate the burden of import duty and VAT on traders’ cashflow and profits. Global Trade Department frequently advises companies on the exact compliance requirements surrounding the use of procedures like Outward Processing (OP) and has a 100% success rate in applying for Full Authorisations on behalf of clients.

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Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status has become an internationally recognised quality standard demonstrating that a company has met the highest standards of customs compliance and/or supply chain safety and security. Global Trade Department has hands on experience helping clients navigate the application process and obtain the authorisation swiftly and on first attempt.

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More services


From strategy definition, market research and regulatory studies through to partner selection and market launch, our consultants guide your global trade efforts to mitigate risk and optimise success.

Hands-on support

Global trade can be complex as well as time and resource intensive. Hands-on support like our Global Trade Manager service, boosts your internal team’s capacity whilst transferring vital knowledge.


Our wide-ranging training courses are delivered by experienced domain specialists and pitched perfectly for expanding your team’s import and export knowledge whilst simultaneously building their confidence.