• Overview
  • Benefits
  • Document Required
  • Fees And Timeliness
  • FAQs

how it works

AEO is a trade facilitation scheme for ease of doing business considering international development, holder of this certificate is entitled for privilege, benefits, exemption, and relaxation on account of import and export. This certificate is issued for period after that to be renewed.

Overview of AEO Certification

AEO is a programme under the aegis of the World Customs Organization (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards to secure and facilitazte Global Trade. The programme aims to enhance international supply chain security and facilitate movement of legitimate goods. AEO encompasses various players in the International supply chain. Under this programme an entity engaged in international trade is approved by Customs as compliant with supply chain security standards and granted AEO status & certain benefits. India’s AEO Programme is in sync with the commitments made under Article 7.7 of WTO TFA.
AEO is a voluntary compliance programme. It enables Indian Customs to enhance and streamline cargo security through close cooperation with the principle stakeholders of the international supply chain viz. importers, exporters, logistics providers, custodians or terminal operators, custom brokers and warehouse operators.

Benefits of AEO Certification

Benefits for AEO under Advance Authorization scheme of under Foreign Trade Policy (AEO LO)
AEO status holder shall be issued advance authorization on self-certification and declaration basis without ratification by the Norms Committee.
Logistic Service Providers: 

  • Waiver of bank Guarantee.
  • Facility of Execution of running bond.
  • Exemption from permission in case of transit of goods.
  • In case of international transhipped cargo (Foreign to Foreign), for the pre-sorted containers wherein Cargo does not require segregation, ramp to ramp or tail to tail transfer of cargo can be affected without Customs escorts.

Customs Brokers

  • Waiver of Bank Guarantee
  • Extended validity (till validity of AEO status) of licenses
  • System Manager to incorporate date of validity of AEO from time to time in the System Directory
  • Waiver from fee for renewal of license.

Warehouse Operators

  • Faster approval for new warehouses within 7 days of submission of complete documents
  • Waiver of antecedent verification envisaged for grant of license for warehouse under  circular 26/2016
  • Waiver of solvency certificate requirement under  circular 24/2016
  • Waiver of security for obtaining extension in warehousing period under  circular 21/2016
  • Waiver of security required for warehousing of sensitive goods under  circular 21/2016

Custodians or Terminal Operators

  • Waiver of bank Guarantee
  • Extension of approval for custodians under regulation 10 (2) of the 'Handling of cargo in Customs Area Regulation 2009' for period of 10 years.

Documents Required for AEO Certification

Sl. No

Annexure Subject Application for grant of




1 Annexure-A Application Form YES YES YES


2 Annexure-B Security Plan NO YES YES


3 Annexure-C Process Map YES YES YES


4 Annexure-D Site Plan YES YES YES


5 Annexure-E Self-Assessment Form
Annexure- E.1

General Compliance



Annexure- E.2

Legal Compliance YES YES YES


Annexure- E.3

Managing commercial and (where appropriate) transport records YES YES YES


Annexure- E.4

Financial Solvency YES YES YES


Annexure- E.5

Safety and Security NO YES YES


6 Annexure-F Business Partner Details NO NO YES


Note: While submitting the application for renewal, the applicant must clearly highlight the changes from the last application.

Documents Details: 


1.  Name/Address of all location/site of applicant. 

2.  Name/Designation/Email/Mobile/Fax/Phone of central point of contact person. 

3.  PAN of the applicant. 

4.  Major items /Country of Import/Export with Tariff Code. 

5.  No. of BE/SB field during the Previous FY. 

6.  Copy of MSME certificate (if any) 

7.  Board resolution for authorized signatory. 


1.  Procedural security. 

2.  Document security. 

3.  Physical security. 

4.  Access controls. 

5.  Personnel security. 

6.  Training and skill up gradation. 

7.  Compliance with other Government security related requirements, if any. 

Annexure – C 


Process map for flow of goods/documentation/ information from receipt of order to the point of export/delivery/receipt of the product describing all the activities/ operations and role of the applicant and other business partners (e.g. CHA, Logistics provider etc.) 

Annexure – D 


Site plan with respect to all the sites of the entity describing (External perimeter/all access point/Lighting/Office/storage/CCTV/Container storage/Parking etc.) 

Annexure- E.1 

General Compliance 

1.  Copy of AEO/ACP if any. 

2.  Copy of all statutory registration (e.g. GST/IEC/Factory License/PAN) 

3.  Certificate of incorporation (in case of company/LLP)/Partnership agreement 

4.  Detail of Director/Company Secretory/Partner.  


5.  Details of Place/Location where goods are handled 

6.  Cross Cheque/Bank statement. 

7.  Details of minimum 25 Bills of entry or shipping bill for preceding FY. 

8.  Details of conviction (if any) 


Legal Compliance 

1.  Detail of infringement of Customs Laws (if any) 

2.  Detail of SCN for removal of Excisable Goods (Fraud/Forgery/Clandestine removal) for  

three FY. 

3.  Detail of SCN of Service Tax collected from customers but not deposited to the  


4.  Detail of prosecution launched (if any) 

5.  Disputed duty/Disputed Drawback/Total Duty Paid/Total Drawback claimed for 3 FY. 

6.  Notes on Internal control to identify and disclose any irregularities or errors to the  

customs authorities and to take remedial action. (SOPS on Internal Control) 

Annexure E.3 Managing commercial and (where appropriate) transport records 

1.  Snapshot of record room where documentary file is stored. 

2.  Organizational chart (if any) 

3. SOPs of person handling license/authorization/ Data recovery policy/ Training to  

employee for change in customs laws/Cargo handling/ IT security policy. 

Annexure E.4 

Financial Solvency 

1.  Audited Balance sheet for 3 FY. 

2.  Compliance certificate for filling of annual account with register of company for 3 FY. 

3.  Solvency certificate issued by the Statutory Auditor in case of AEO- T3/LO otherwise  

from Chartered Accountant. 

4.  Declaration of solvency. 

Annexure E.5 

Safety and Security 

1.  Security policy and procedure manual to preserve the integrity of the cargo. 

2.  Procedures and manual on seals to be controlled and affixed to cargo and transport  


3.  Notes on Documentation on clearing of cargo. 

4.  Premises Security. 

5.  Cargo Security: 

6.  Conveyance Security 

7.  Personnel security: 

8.  Business Partner Security 

9.  Security Training and Threat Awareness 

Fees and Timeline

For a customized and attractive quotation, please contact us with your product details to Kapish Laur (+91- 99717 70603) or Rekh Atri (+91 98118 03136) or Manju Laur (+91 9711994042).

Frequently Asked Questions

An AEO is a business entity involved in international movement of goods requiring compliance with provisions of the national Customs law and is approved by or on behalf of national administration in compliance with World Customs Organization (WCO) or equivalent supply chain security standards. The security standards are detailed in World Customs Organisation Safe framework of standards [WCO SAFE FoS], which is the basis of the Indian AEO programme.

The AEO programme enables Customs administration to identify the safe and compliant business entity in order to provide them a higher degree of assured facilitation. This segmentation approach enables Customs resources to focus on less or non-compliant or risky businesses for control. Thus, the aim of AEO programme is to secure the international supply chain by granting recognition to reliable operators and encouraging best practices at all levels in the international supply chain. Through this programme, the Customs shares its responsibility with the businesses, while at the same time rewarding them with a number of additional benefits.

The genesis of AEO scheme dates back to September 11, 2001 event in US which made all the governments to realise that the supply chain itself could be used for terror activities and a need was felt to make the supply chain secure. Since the supply chain is controlled by the trade, the Customs administration is partnering the trade in order to secure the supply chain. The US started CT-PAT (Customs Trade – Partnership against terrorism) programme. Later WCO adopted SAFE Framework of Standards in 2005 in order to secure and facilitate the trade. The SAFE framework has three pillars comprising of Customs to Customs partnership, Customs to Business partnership and Customs to other Govt. stake holders. AEO programme is the core part of Pillar-II i.e. - Customs to Business partnership.

The SAFE FoS sets forth criteria by which businesses in supply chain can obtain authorised status as a secure partner. The criteria are incorporated in CBEC Circular No. 28/2012 dated 16.11.2012. Thereafter a Revised AEO Program was launched vide Circular No. 33/2016-Customs dated 22.07.2016 as amended by Circular No. 03/2018 dated 17.02.2018, 26/2018 dated10.08.2018 and Circular No. 51/2018 dated 07.12.2018.

The AEO Programme was introduced as pilot project in 2011 vide Circular No. 37/2011- Customs dated 23rd August, 2011. The same was amended and the revised final AEO programme was introduced vide Circular No. 28/2012 dated 16.11.2012. With international developments such as Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) on securing and facilitating the International Trade and focus of Government of India on Ease of Doing Business, a comprehensive, unified trade facilitation initiative was launched by merging the existing Accredited Client Programme (ACP) and the ongoing AEO scheme of 2012 in the form of revised AEO Programme vide Circular No. 33/2016-Customs dated 22nd July, 2016. The ACP scheme was abolished by rescinding the Circular No. 42/2005-Customs dated 24.11.2005. Further simplification for financial solvency and decentralisation of AEO application processing was done vide Circular No. 03/2018 dated. 17.01.2018. The application process for AEO-T1 accreditation was further simplified to two Annexures form only by Circular No. 26/2018 dated 10.08.2018  from five Annexure form as was stipulated in Circular No. 33/2016 dated 22.07.2016. Web based On-line  application filing and processing for AEO-T1 status started from December 2018 vide Circular 51/2018 dated 07.12.2018.

Yes, all AEO T1/T2/T3 status holders are entitled for DPD/ DPE facility. However, they have to apply for the Direct Port Delivery permission to the concerned Chief Commissioner and also register themselves with the port authority for DPD facility.

No. The AEO scheme is purely an optional scheme. Applying for AEO status is a business decision depending on the role of the business entity in the supply chain and its willingness to acquire the benefit flowing by acquiring AEO status.

There is a three-tier programme for importers and exporters i.e. AEO-T1, AEO-T2 and AEO-T3 in the increasing degree of benefits accorded and compliance requirements. Furthermore, there is single Tier AEO Programme for Logistics Providers, Custodians or Terminal Operators, Customs Brokers and Warehouse Operators who are granted AEO-LO certificate.

The validity of AEO certificate is three years for AEO-T1 and AEO-T2, and five years for AEO-T3 and AEOLO.

Yes, it is valid at all Customs stations in India. In other words, an AEO status holder shall get the AEO benefits at all Customs ports/ airports/ Land Customs stations.
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