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About AEO

Introduction

What does an AEO mean?

An AEO is standing for the “Authorized Economic Operator,” which means a company validated and authorized by the Korea Customs Service in accordance with authorizing criteria of Law Compliance, Internal Control System, Financial Solvency and Security Management.

When was an AEO appeared?

The World Customs Organization, WCO, has discussed security of international trade flow from producers to ultimate consumers, or Supply Chain Security, for a long while. One day, tragic 911 terrorist attacks hit the U.S., which led the U.S. to cost so many lives as to implement a new logistics security system and regulations for trade security. As it focused on security intensively at the initial stage, this system started to work as a non-tariff barrier causing a delay of lead times. In order to complement, the WCO established the Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade, which is the WCO SAFE Framework, in June 2005. The core concept of this international Framework is an AEO program. Customs administrations certify companies as AEOs in accordance with authorization criteria, and conduct different risk managements for AEOs from non-AEOs. A whopping 159 countries of WCO members have submitted letters of intent to implement the program. The U.S., Japan, the EU and other major advanced countries adopted and carried out AEO programs, and the number is now increasing day by day.

What is the current status of Korea’s AEO program?

In order to accommodate changes of global customs environments, Korea also went through preparations, including studying programs, establishing regulations and conducting a pilot project; and implemented a full-fledged AEO program in April 2009. Entities are categorized into 9 groups such as exporters, importers, customs brokers, warehouse operators, transporters, freight forwarders, carriers, air carriers and ground handlers.