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EU-China Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Authorised Economic Operators (AEO)

On 16 May 2014, the signing of an agreement between the European Union and the People’s Republic of China on the mutual recognition of Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) was announced. The Commission describes the agreement as”groundbreaking” and expects to facilitate customs administration procedures, reduce costs and increase the security and predictability of business activities.

The AEO status (or Authorised Economic Operator status) is granted by the competent main customs office and allows reliable and trustworthy economic operators to subject their goods to simplified customs clearance. The trainy customs clearance should save the participants costs and time. The AEO certificate can be awarded in three variants:

  • AEO C (= customs simplifications)
  • AEO S (= Security)
  • AEO F (= Customs simplifications/security)

Under the new agreement with China, the parties undertake to recognise authorised economic operators on the other side and to grant them easier customs clearance procedures. The EU has already concluded similar agreements with Switzerland, Norway, Japan and the USA.

We are happy to answer your questions about AEO status!


Lawyer Dr. Tristan Wegner

Your consultant

ABC-Straße 21
20354 Hamburg
T +49 (0) 40 / 36 96 15 0
F +49 (0) 40 / 36 96 15 15
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