Whilst it is now over a year since the UK left the EU Customs Union, the fall out is still being felt and we continue to experience a high volume of enquiries. As a result we are operating on a 5 working day response time. Thank you for your patience.

What changes are coming into force in 2016?

A number of changes are coming into force on 1st May 2016. The Modernised Customs Code, introduced in 2013, will require a guarantee to be lodged if a business wants to use any of Customs’ facilitation schemes, unless the business can demonstrate it operates to AEO standard.

Any business involved in the International Supply Chain should ensure they are fully aware of these changes, and decide whether they need to act.

Commercial impact of AEO

This is dependent on where in the International Supply Chain you are, but is as follows:


  • The changes will impact your business if you use any kind of duty suspension or relief. This is because, if you don’t have AEO, HMRC will ask for a financial guarantee in order for you to continue to benefit from the relief. We can help you with this by providing any information you might need.
  • If your business does not use any duty relief schemes, the way imports will be handled will change and could disrupt business. For this reason, ensure you know what the changes mean for you, as it could be critical.


  • While AEO is an EU kitemark, some countries are in the process of developing an equivalent, such as the USA, Japan and China, which have mutual agreements with the EU already. Businesses in many of these countries, particularly the USA, are already insisting that suppliers have AEO - or are actively seeking it.
  • AEO can give businesses a competitive edge when looking for new contracts as it demonstrates the standards that a business has met.

Logistics providers - including freight forwarders/transport companies/warehousing

  • Any business that handles goods will be affected by AEO, given that importers and exporters will need to ensure business partners operate to AEO standards as well. Having AEO accreditation will give such providers a competitive edge because it will demonstrate their high standards.

Get in Touch

If you are unsure of how AEO changes will affect your business, contact The Customs People today on 0161 82 68 926.