Forwarding, Freight News

AEO makes more sense than ever, says BIFA

[ March 14, 2016   //   ]

Two significant dates later this year will demonstrate the importance to forwarders of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status, says the British International Freight Association (BIFA).

The Union Customs Code (UCC) is being introduced across the European Union (EU) on 1 May. There will be a number of changes to how goods cross EU borders and some transitional arrangements will operate until 2020. And then, two months later, the new Solas verified gross mass rules from 1 July mean that the weight of every container shipped must be verified using certified weighing equipment, or an approved calculation method.
BIFA director general, Robert Keen said: “Acquiring AEO status is about setting yourself apart from the competition. The process of become AEO certified itself gives a forwarder the chance to analyse processes, examine standards and identify corporate or organisational weaknesses. In turn, once issues have been resolved, AEO certification means that the freight forwarder’s clients have that certainly that their logistics partner has surpassed tight benchmarks in regards to standards of operation.”

He predicted that the two events would be “game changers for how the industry, especially in ocean trades, operates. Forwarders who are AEO certified or undertaking the certification will be ahead of the curve in dealing with the ‘new normal’ we all face.”
While becoming an AEO is not mandatory for many of the UCC authorisations and simplifications a forwarder will need to meet some or all of the criteria for a Customs simplifications AEO certificate (AEOC).
Mr Keen adds: “Increasing numbers of shippers, especially multinational ones, are demanding that freight forwarders have AEO certification before they do business with them, never mind being given preferred supplier status.
“Given that the new regime under the UCC requires many of the authorisations and simplifications of AEO status, it has never made more sense to acquire that AEO certification.”