Tudor International Freight, based at Rawdon, near Leeds, has been awarded full Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
What is AEO?
The internationally-recognised quality mark confirms Tudor’s role in the international supply chain is secure and its controls and procedures meet demanding efficiency and compliance standards. The company can now enjoy benefits when transporting goods overseas, including a faster application process for customs authorisations and a reduction in the level of financial guarantees required.
Tudor’s advantages apply across the European Union and in other countries with which the EU has mutual recognition agreements, including the USA, Japan and China.
Freight forwarders and logistics suppliers with AEO status will be able to offer customers particularly significant benefits over rivals lacking the accreditation after the EU’s new Union Customs Code legislation takes effect on May 1.
David Johnson, managing director, Tudor International Freight, said: “We’re delighted to have become an AEO. There are currently around 300 UK-based organisations with full accreditation but most are large worldwide multinationals, which makes our achievement - we operate from just one site - all the more impressive.
“Specifically, the accreditation means we can now help our clients benefit from a faster application process for simplified customs procedures, such as Inward and Outward Processing Relief and Customs Warehousing.
“Inward Processing Relief is from customs duties and VAT applying to goods imported from, and then exported to, countries outside the EU, which are processed here in-between. Outward Processing Relief allows you to temporarily export goods for processing or repair in a non-EU country and pay no or only partial duty when re-importing them.
“We also now qualify for a reduction in the level of financial guarantees required to operate certain procedures. These include the use of a duty deferment account, which enables goods to be cleared and delivered without being delayed pending payment of customs duty and import VAT liability. This will allow us to pass on significant savings to our customers.”
Mr Johnson said that AEO status, in addition to delivering financial and speed advantages for customers, confirmed Tudor’s business operations met exacting standards. As part of the accreditation process, HMRC visited Tudor’s head office several times to review its customs processes and procedures and carry out transaction testing with staff members from different departments.
He said: “Among the many aspects of our operations HMRC examined with a fine tooth comb were our customs compliance history, commercial and transport record keeping, financial solvency and practical professional competence.
“We also had to demonstrate security and safety standards adequate for protecting the international supply chain. This requirement covered areas such as physical integrity and access controls, logistical processes and the handling of specific types of cargo, plus personnel and business partner vetting procedures.”