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Posted 6th February 2020

AEO: One year on

This time last year we were awarded AEO status - what else happened in 2019?

A lot can happen in a year…

This time last year, Baxter Freight was awarded Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status. We look back over the past twelve months at what this has meant for us as a business, and for our customers – and also at other events that were significant in 2019.

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What is AEO and how has it made a difference?

Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) is a significant customs and international supply chain security accreditation that is recognised in the UK, across the EU and internationally. As an AEO accredited business, we have been judged to meet strict criteria when it comes to customs controls and our supply chain security procedures.

Although focused on customs and supply chain security, AEO processes and controls affect every aspect of our business and it took us twelve months to prepare.

Not only has the journey to receiving the accreditation meant that we have strengthened the way we operate internally as a business, but it has opened new doors for our external relationships too.

For our customers, the biggest benefit is the preferential service we receive from customs authorities at borders. Our AEO accreditation demonstrates customs transactions are always subject to robust procedures which means our customers’ cargo is less likely to be held up or subject to delay.

Our customer base has also expanded as a direct result of our AEO status. We are now supporting European operations for a market leading kitchenware company and a major supplier to Jaguar Land Rover, both of whom are big supporters in the UK of the AEO concept.

Year on year, the number of UK businesses achieving the AEO accreditation is rising. Since we achieved our status, the number of AEO accredited organisations in the UK has risen from 650 to 1,052. That’s a rise of almost 62%. We still have a long way to go until we match Germany who lead the way with 6,521 operators. But this sharp increase demonstrates how AEO is seen as more important because of Brexit.


The next twelve months…

For us, AEO has undoubtably played a vital role in helping us to get Brexit Ready. And even though the UK has officially left the European Union, it is still unclear what our future trading relationship looks like.

Over the next twelve months we still expect Brexit to dominate. As we start to work through the transition period, which is currently scheduled to end on 31 December 2020, we should start to see what the future will hold.

AEO gives our customers, existing and future, the confidence that we are in the best position possible for what this next stage of Brexit will bring.

If you have any questions about how working with an Authorised Economic Operator could benefit you, or how Brexit is likely to affect your business, please get in touch. Call us on 0115 975 0400 or email us at