UK freight Forwarder one of Europe’s first AEOs

Effective April 5th 2008, Davies Turner Air Cargo will become one of Europe’s first Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs).

The freight forwarder and logistics services provider has been advised by UK accreditation authority, HM Revenue & Customs that its AEO application has been successful.

The company has achieved full certification (Type F) which entitles it to benefits under security and safety, as well as customs simplifications (effective July 1st 2009).

The AEO scheme is one of a series of measures being coordinated by the World Customs Organisation as part of a multi-layered approach to facilitating trade and making supply chains more secure and controlled.

In adopting the AEO regime, the EU is aligning with similar measures introduced by other countries, including the USA.

The scheme provides legitimate businesses with a quality mark, which will demonstrate that their internal controls and procedures are efficient and compliant.

Achieving AEO status is recognition of Davies Turner Air Cargo’s efforts in fulfilling the extensive and rigorous requirements set by the European Commission and implemented by all the Member States in the EU.

Speaking on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs, Jan Marszewski says HMRC would like to take the opportunity to congratulate those businesses that have achieved AEO status in the UK.

“These businesses, along with those who are currently involved in the application process, are demonstrating their commitment to the much wider programme of supply chain security, not just within the EU but globally,” he says.

“We are very proud to be one of the first off the starting block with AEO accreditation which is recognition of the compliance culture within the company and the hard work put in by all levels of staff to comply with the new measure,” says Peter Castree, Davies Turner Air Cargo’s Chairman.

“Gaining AEO status means that we have proved we fully comply with all financial and Customs requirements, as well as demonstrating the first class nature of physical security at all our facilities and throughout our transport operations.”

In the UK, HM Revenue & Customs is responsible for the approval process and has been accepting applications since July 2007.

Davies Turner Air Cargo originally applied for the status in August 2007.

This was accepted by HMRC, which undertook assessments of the company’s IT systems and air cargo operations at Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Dartford and London Heathrow in December.

This was followed by a highly detailed and rigorous assessment report.

As the European Commission has developed AEO status, a key feature is that after each Member State’s Customs body has approved AEO status, then each of the other 26 Customs bodies in the EU has a veto on the issuance of the AEO status.

Only then, can full AEO status be granted.

Potentially, some 140,000 companies involved in international trade are eligible to apply within the UK alone.

“Some of the tangible benefits of AEO accreditation we can look forward to include fewer physical and documentary examinations of cargo, priority use of non-intrusive inspection techniques when examination is required and priority processing by Customs when security is heightened,” Castree says.

“‘Preferred Trader’ eligibility also applies,” he says.

One of the purposes behind the creation of the AEO scheme is to create linkage with the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) measures in the USA.

Such recognition, due in summer 2009, would allow companies registered under either scheme to enjoy fast-track Customs clearance into the USA.

“As an AEO, we will gain a commercial advantage over our competition,” Castree says.

“The accreditation shows our determination to remain at the forefront of efforts to make the supply chain even safer.”

Being in pole position in new regulatory environments is not a new situation for Davies Turner Air Cargo.

“Three years ago, we were accredited under the Metropolitan Police initiative AIMSS (Airfreight Industry Minimum Security Standards Scheme) which works to raise security standards at London Heathrow,” Castree recalls.

“Just three years before that, we became the only dedicated airfreight forwarder listed in the then-HM Customs and Excise Tariff for the HM Customs and Excise-authorised Designated Export Place (DEP).”

Davies Turner Air Cargo was established in 1990 and, as part of the Davies Turner Group, is proud to continue with the company’s long tradition of being pioneers in service since 1870.

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