## What is AEO (Authorized Economic Operator?)
AEO is facilitation scheme i.e. holder of this certificate is entitled for certain privilege, benefits and exemption on account of import and export, In India, AEO certification is Three-Tier AEO (T1, T2, T3).This three tier certification is launched by Indian Customs Circular No. 33/2016 dated 22th July, 2016 (in suppression of Circulars No. 42/2005 dated 24.11.2005– old ACP scheme and Circulars No. 28/2012-Customs dated 16.11.2012– old AEO programme).
Now, Old ACP and OLD AEO is merged and resulted into three certification (T1, T2, T3) for importer and exporter and one other certificate namely (AEO-LO certificate) will be issued for other than importer and exporter such as Logistics Providers, Custodians or Terminal Operators, Customs Brokers and Warehouse Operators.
## Who is entitled for AEO CERTIFICATION?
Anyone involved in the international supply chain that undertakes Customs related activity in India can apply for AEO status irrespective of size of the business. These may include exporters, importers, logistic providers (e.g. carriers, airlines, freight forwarders, etc.), Custodians or Terminal Operators, Customs House Agents and Warehouse Owners. Others who may qualify include port operators, authorized couriers, stevedores. The list is not exhaustive.
Small and medium scale enterprises who has filed 25 documents i.e. either Bills of Entry or Shipping Bills during the last financial year is also entitled for AEO.
## AEO is applicable to OLD Company or new company
The applicant should have business activities for at least three financial years preceding the date of application.
## Type & Applicability, Validity & renewal of AEO Certification
|Types of Certificate||Applicability||Validity||Time limit for submission of application for renewal before lapse of validity|
|AEO-T1Certificate||Only Importer and Exporter can have T1, T2 & T3 certificate.||2 Year||30 Days|
|AEO-T2 Certificate||3 Year||60 Days|
|AEO-T3 Certificate||Applicant must have continuously enjoyed the status of AEO-T2 for at-least a period of two years preceding the date of application for grant of AEO-T3 status.||5 Year||90 Days|
|AEO-LO Certificate||Other than importers and exporters, namely Logistics Providers, Custodians or Terminal Operators, Customs Brokers and Warehouse Operators.||5 Year||90 Days|
## Who is not entitled for AEO CERTIFICATION?
Businesses that are not involved in Customs related work / activities will not be entitled to apply, in general, banks, insurance companies, consultants and the like categories of businesses will not be eligible for AEO status.
## AEO is branch wise or entity wise
AEO certification is entity wise not branch wise, location wise and GroupWise. If a group of company have 5 companies then all company will have to apply separately.
## Main benefits of certificate under AEO scheme
|Benefits||AEO-T1Certificate||AEO-T2 Certificate||AEO-T3 Certificate|
|High level of facilitation
|Direct Port Delivery import/export container||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ID cards to authorized personnel for hassle free entry to Custom Houses, CFSs and ICDs.
|Separate space earmarked in Custodian’s premises
|Reduction on Bank Guarantee||50% reduction||75% reduction||100% reduction|
|Investigations, if any, would be completed, in six to nine months||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dispute resolution within six months||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|E-mail regarding arrival/ departure of the vessel carrying their consignments||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|24/7 clearances on request at all sea ports and airports||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Seal verification/scrutiny of documents by Custom officers would be waived||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Deferred payment of Duty||Yes||Yes|
|BEs/SBs will be processed on priority||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Faster completion of Special Valuation Branch (‘SVB’)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Shorter cargo release time
|facility to paste MRP stickers||No||Yes||Yes|
|access to their consolidated import/export data||No||Yes||Yes|
|Paperless declarations with no supporting documents in physical form.||No||Yes||Yes|
|Client Relationship Manager”(CRM at the level of Deputy / Assistant Commissioner available at port who will act voice of AEO holder||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Expedite refund of IGST||45 Days||30 Days|
|No Merchant Overtime Fee (MOT)||No||Yes||Yes|
## Benefits for AEO-LO certificate
|Logistic Service Providers,
Custodians or Terminal Operators,
|– Waiver of bank Guarantee.
– Facility of Execution of running bond.
– Exemption from permission in case of transit of goods.
– Faster approval for new warehouses within 7 days
– Waiver of solvency certificate.
– Waiver of security
– Waiver from fee for renewal of license.
To whom application to be made for certification and renewal
The application should be sent to the AEO Programme Manager, Directorate General of Performance Management, Customs & Central Excise, ‘D’ Block, I.P. Bhawan, I.P. Estate, New Delhi – 110002.
The Additional Director General, Directorate General of Performance Management, Customs & Central Excise, ‘D’ Block, I.P. Bhawan, I.P. Estate, New Delhi – 110002 will be the AEO Programme Manager and AEO Programme Team will comprise officers from the Directorate General of Performance Management and its regional offices.