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AEO Certification

AEO Certification Procedure in INDIA – Complete Guidelines -2020


Customs organizations all over the world are tasked with the twin challenges of securing the borders from unlawful trade and at the same time facilitating the legitimate trade.

AEO program seeks to provide tangible benefits in the form of (Provide link for benefits of AEO in brief)Faster Customs clearances, Faster trade facilitation, Shorter Cargo Release Time, Reduction in bank guarantee, The facility of 24/7 clearance at all seaports/airports on request.and simplified Customs procedures to those business entities who offer a high degree of security guarantees in respect of their role in the supply chain. The SAFE Framework sets forth the criteria by which businesses in the supply chain can obtain authorized status as a secure partner. Such criteria address issues such as threat assessment, a security plan adapted to the assessed threats, procedural measures to prevent illegitimate goods entering the supply chain, physical security of buildings and premises used as loading or warehousing sites, and security of cargo, means of transport, personnel and information system.

AEO Registration and Certification Process

Three tier AEO programme for importers and exporters (AEO-T1, AEO-T2, and AEO-T3

Single Tier AEO Program for Logistics Providers, Custodians or Terminal Operators, Customs Brokers Freight Forwarders and Warehouse Operators.  (AEO LO)

It is important to note here that the process for AEO T1 application has now gone online. The process of the AEO T2, AEO T3 and AEO-LO registration is still offline.

ForAEO T1Type in in your browser and click on “Registration”. Fill out the details to create an account.

Who can apply for AEO certificate..? Anyone involved in the international supply chain that undertakes Customs related activity in India can apply for AEO status irrespective of size of the business.

  • These may include exporters, importers, logistic providers
  • (e.g. carriers, airlines, freight forwarders, etc.),
  • Custodians or Terminal Operators, Customs House Agents and Warehouse Owners.
  • Others who may qualify include port operators, authorized couriers, stevedores. The list is not exhaustive.
  • The applicant should have business activities for at least three financial years preceding the date of application
  • Importers/Exporters whose threshold of import or export declarations is 25 documents i.e. either Bills of Entry or Shipping Bills during the last financial year. The other economic operators should have handled at least 25 documents i.e. Bills of Entry or Shipping bills during the last financial year.

AEO T1 Certification

Documents required:

  • Annexure 1 and Annexure 2.
  • Copy of Pan Card.
  • Process map of the Import/Export Activity.
  • Copy of IEC Certificate.
  • All other documents required to support the information filled in the Application form.

If the provided information/documents are found to be valid and considered to be eligible by the AEO Programme Manager, then the AEO T1 Certificate would be issued to the applicant within 30 days of the submission of the information and/or documents.

AEO T2 & AEO-LO Certification:

Activity type No. of Days
Intimation Upon Submission of the documents. Within 30 days
Physical verification of the documents. Within 15 days
Onsite verification of the business premises Within 90 days
Time at which the applicant is supposed to contact the AEO Program Manager if not reverted by the AEO Program Team. Within 45 days
Time taken by AEO Program Team to prepare and report and make an application. Within 60 days

The AEO Programme Team will, within 90 days, visit the business premises for verification of the information and documents provided. Such visit shall be made on a convenient date after consulting the applicant. 3 During the course of such verification, the applicant for AEO-T2 or AEO-LO status should be prepared to answer questions or provide additional information on all aspect of the application to the visiting AEO Programme Team.  Examination shall be carried out for all the premises which are relevant to the customs related activities of the applicant for AEO-T2 or AEO-LO status. The examination as well as its results shall be documented by the AEO Programme team.

In case several premises of the applicant are run in a similar way by standard systems of record keeping and security etc. there will be no need for the AEO Programme Team to visit all of them. However, if the business of the applicant covers a range of activities or different premises have different method of operating, then it may be necessary for more visits to be made.

Documents required:


1 Annexure – A
2 Annexure – B
3 Annexure – C
4 Annexure – D
5 Annexure – E.1
6 Annexure – E.2
7 Annexure – E.3
8 Annexure – E.4
9 Annexure – E.5.1 – E.5.7
10 Company Profile
11 Leave and license Agreement
12 Branch details and Google Map
13 7- Points Container Inspection
14 Self-Declaration
15 Self-Solvency
16 CHA License Copy
17 GST Certificate Copy
18 Pan Card Copy
19 Partnership Deed
20 Partners Details (Addhar&Pancard)
21 Organization Chart
22 Details of Documents Field For Last Three Years Port Wise
23 Income Tax Return Acknowledgement  & Annual Report
24 Solvency Certificate of C.A.
25 KYC Norms
26 Self-Declaration
27 Annexure – A Legal Compliances
28 SOP-Archiving of the documents
29 SOP-Legal Compliance
30 SOP-IT Functioning and Data Security
31 SOP-Handling of Licenses and Authorizations for Import & Export
32 SOP-Cargo Examination Activities At Port/CFS/ACC/ICD
33 SOP – Customs Clearance Activities At Port / CFS
34 SOP-Customs Clearance Activities in Case of Discrepancies Errors noticed at Port/CFS
35 SOP-Error/Irregularity Corrective and Preventive action
36 SOP-Thr Procedure In Case Of Unauthorized Tampering In Cargo
37 SOP-Accounting Standards / Principals Maintenance of Records /Compliances Procedure & System
38 SOP-Conveyance Security
39 SOP-Import/Export Flow Chart
40 SOP-Archiving of Records, Office/Storage Keys & Laws
41 SOP-Storage
42 SOP-Training (HR Manual) Records
43 SOP-Personnel Security
44 SOP-Premises Security
45 Appreciation Letter
46 Agreement with Importer & Exporter
47 Biometric Attendance of Staff
48 Customs Pass held by Partners & Staff

AEO T3 Certification

If the applicant has continuously held an AEO T2 Status for two or more years, he will be issued an AEO T3 Certificate within 30 days of submitting the application. However, if there are any significant changes in the nature or operations of the business since the previous physical verification by an AEO Programme Team, the applicant might have to undergo physical verification if considered necessary by the AEO Programme Manager.

If the applicant has not continuously held an AEO T2 Status for two or more years but satisfies the given eligibility criteria, a specific AEO Programme Team would conduct physical verification of the information and documents submitted in Annexure F only, within a period of 15 days. In case of any significant business changes since the last AEO Certification, physical verification of the information/documents would be conducted if deemed necessary by the AEO Programme Manager.

AEO Certification

After completing the AEO registration procedure, the AEO Programme Manager shall send the AEO Certificate to the applicant in hard copy along with an electronic copy. The certificate shall bear an ‘AEO logo’ that shall be representative of the status provided to the applicant.

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