What is Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Certification in India?

If you are a business owner, you would always need some form of recognition to showcase your authenticity and reliability. The recognition could be in the form of licenses, awards of honour or even certificates. An Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) is one such certification which signifies a business’s authority and trustability in global trade. Getting this certificate endows business owners with a wide range of benefits and conveniences.

What is Authorized Economic Operator Certification in India?

AEO is a programme that is a part of the World Customs Organization (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards in its efforts to facilitate Global Trade in a secure manner. The primary objective of AEO programme is to ensure the movement of legitimate goods and build a secure supply chain.

Many internationally renowned trade organizations adopt AEO certification. Adopting the certificate indicates that, the business is in compliance with the standards that are laid down for maintaining supply chain security.

Four tiers of AEO Certification


This is verified only on the basis of submitted documents.

AEO T2  

This requires you to undergo onsite verification in addition to the verification of documents.


This is granted to AEO T2 holders who have had the status for 2 years only on the basis of document verification and even to some AEO T2 holders who haven’t had the status for as long.


This is provided to customs brokers, logistics service providers, warehouse operators etc. This certification requires document submission and onsite verification.

Many businesses are acquiring an Authorized Economic Operator certification in India due to its lucrative benefits. There are presently more than 2100 Indian Authorized Economic Operator status holders in the country, out of which 1400 are AEO T1, 250 are AEO T2, 1 is AEO T3 and 450 are AEO LO.

Significance of AEO Certification

An AEO Certification holds great significance in trade. It serves as a badge of reliability in any business that involves import/export. For practical purposes, an AEO Certification becomes important because:

  • It facilitates easier trade with fewer formalities.
  • It promotes an environment of secure trade.
  • It helps to curb illegal trade activities and standardize the applications of customs controls.
  • It facilitates the trade of legitimate goods and items.

Adopting an AEO Certification provides a business with a great degree of freedom in trade practices due to its several trade privileges.

Benefits of Acquiring an AEO Certification

Getting an AEO certification can provide you with several trade facilities that are not available otherwise. As the tier keeps getting higher, the benefits and trade freedom keeps increasing.

AEO T1– Acquiring this allows you to expect a shorter cargo release time for your goods. Also, the facility of Direct Port Delivery (DPD) and Direct Port Entry (DPE) would be given to your import/export containers based on the volume of their trade.

AEO T2 – By getting this certification, you can have your verification/scrutiny of documents by the Customs Officers waived off (at the time of seal). Your containers would also be given first-line priority in case they are selected for scanning. Acquiring it will help in higher facilitation of your consignments during import/export.

AEO T3 – If you bear this certification, your containers won’t be selected for scanning, except on the basis of specific intelligence. Any assessment/examination by Customs Officer would only require a self-certified copy of documents and there won’t be any need for you to provide original documents. This certification provides you with the highest degree of freedom in import/export trade.

AEO LO – This certification provides logistics providers, warehouse operators etc. with benefits like waiver of bank guarantee, an extension of license validity and faster approval of new warehouses.

How Do I Acquire an AEO Certification?

To acquire an AEO Certification, your organization needs to:-

  • Be involved in an International supply chain.
  • Undertake Customs related activity in the country.
  • Be registered with the Registrar of Companies.
  • Be in the business for at least a period of 3 years.
  • Have the experience of handling 25 Import or Export documents in the last financial year.
  • Be free from any Show Cause Notice involving fraud, forgery, smuggling etc.

If you fulfill these criteria, you will be eligible to apply for the Authorized Economic Operator Certification. With so many advantages of possessing an AEO Certification, you can experience faster growth for your business as these privileges will allow you to trade more freely and rapidly. Several countries have already adopted the Authorized Economic Operator Certification as a norm for conducting legitimate import/export and it holds a very positive future by maintaining integral relations in International Trade!

To simplify the process for you, AFLEO CONSULTANTS provide you with guidance and assistance through each step of the procedure. Fill the below given form to get professional help from our end!

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