Hong Kong Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) is a concept under the World Customs Organization (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade(SAFE Framework). It represents a Customs-to-Business partnership to enhance international supply chain security and facilitate movement of legitimate goods.

The Programme is administered by C&ED under an open and voluntary certification regime. Under the Programme, local companies of different sizes that have met pre-determined security standards will be accredited as AEOs, and enjoy appropriate Customs facilitation.

Is AEO mandatory for businesses involved in the supply chain?
AEO is not mandatory. The decision on whether you should apply or not is a commercial one that you need to take once you have assessed the benefits for your business against the costs of applying for, and maintaining, the AEO standard.

Who can apply?
Whatever the size of their business, have a registration in Hong Kong for 3 years and involved in activities covered by customs legislation and forming part of the international supply chain can apply for AEO status. This could include logistics operators, carriers, freight forwarders, customs agents, importers, exporters, manufacturers, ports.
What information is required for HK AEO application?
Yes. Application Bundle is required; the bundle shall including two files; Application file and Company Operation File for auditing purpose;
I Application file shall contain;
  1. Completed application form;
  2. Company Profile;
  3. Self-assessment Questionnaire;
  4. Process Map(s) of supply chain; and
  5. Site Plan(s) of premises
  6. Others reference copies (e.g. B.R., license, certificate…etc.)
II Company Operation File shall contain;
  1. Company Supply chain security manual;
  2. Company procedures;
  3. Latest risk assessment report;
  4. Reference materials (e.g. reference letter, declaration, contractor list…etc.)
  5. Records (e.g. daily operation records, annual audit reports, security reports…etc.)
What preparation should a company make in advance of submitting an application?
The Company Operation File; 2nd part of the Application Bundle should be ready for  auditing; Manual, procedures, and operation relevant records and reports cross-referencing it with the relevant questions in the self-assessment questionnaire. It may be the case that some of your responses will simply be cross-references to sections in your procedures.
What are the benefits for qualified HK AEO?
Recognition will enable businesses to have their consignments fast-tracked through customs controls. If a consignment is selected for examination they will receive priority over non-AEOs.
For businesses holding AEO status they may opt to use a reduced data set when lodging entry or exit summary declarations.
How long does the application required?
Administrations processes, from application to complete auditing, it will have 3-6 months from the date of acceptance of the application to process the application and make a decision. Applications will not be proceeding only the application file is completed.
What if I have any further questions?
Further questions concerning AEO can be sent to aeo@alliancealliance.com
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