Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)

What’s new?

8 December 2023 – New automated process for AEOs

Section 64E has been updated to enable Customs registrants or licensees to submit their application for accreditation electronically. The existing manual processes have been automated on the Customs Operational Portal.

All applications for the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme must be done using the new automated process after 8 December 2023.

Benefits of the new automated AEO process:

  • Elimination of manual process: Reduction of manual paper intensive process
  • Electronic Submission: Clients can now submit electronic applications on eFiling
  • Simpler Process: Making it easier for new applicants to be part of the AEO programme
  • Dashboard Functionality: Dashboard functionality for eFiling clients to manage their own registration/licensing profiles
  • Automated Notifications: Automated electronic notifications

Updated policies, guide and annexure:

30 November 2023 – Webinar on the automation of the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) application process

SARS hosted a webinar on Thursday, 30 November 2023, on the automation of the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) application process. See the RLA for AEO application webinar presentation here. If you missed the webinar, see the recorded webinar on the SARS TV Channel here.

About AEO   

An Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) is a company involved in the international movement of goods and approved by SARS Customs as complying with World Customs Organisation or equivalent compliance and supply chain security standards. AEOs may include manufacturers, importers, exporters, brokers, carriers, consolidators, intermediaries, ports, airports, terminal operators, integrated operators, warehouses, distributors and freight forwarders.

What is an AEO Programme?

An AEO programme is built and based on Customs-Private partnership under the international principle (SAFE Framework of Standards); to secure and facilitate global trade, which was adopted unanimously at the Council Session of the World Customs Organization (WCO) in June 2005.  The programme aims to enhance international supply chain security and facilitate movement of legitimate goods.

SARS AEO Programmes

The South African Revenue Service (SARS), as a government department that controls and administers the international movement of goods, is in a unique position to provide increased security to the global supply chain, and to contribute to socio-economic development through revenue collection and trade facilitation. SARS introduced different levels of accreditation with benefits assigned to each accreditation level with the aim to provide specific benefits to Accredited clients trading  in the regional market (SACU) as well as the international market. All accreditation levels must comply with SAFE.

Level 1 Accreditation AEO – Compliance

The Authorised Economic Operator compliance programme also known as Level 1 Accreditation is a voluntary programme in which participating entities or traders cooperate with SARS customs in maintaining high quality measures in terms of internal operational processes and computer systems, appropriate records of compliance, sufficient financial resources as well as display sufficient customs knowledge to be held responsible for Customs matters.  For more information on the benefits awarded to certified participants, please click on the link provided.

Level 2 Accreditation AEO – Safety & Security

The Authorised Economic Operator safety & security programme also known as Level 2 Accreditation is a voluntary supply chain security programme, focused on improving the security of entities’ or traders’ supply chain through a documented process for determining and alleviating risk throughout their international supply chain.  For more information on the benefits awarded to certified participants, click here.

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