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HMRC internal manual

Customs Authorisation and Approval

Criteria and Conditions of Authorisation or Approval: Matrix of criteria required for Approved Exporter

Generic Criteria, mapped against AEO standards UK Explanation of the criteria Required Y/N Legal Basis for criteria
Compliance History of Applicants      
The absence of any serious infringement or repeated infringements of customs legislation and taxation rules, including no record of serious criminal offences relating to the economic activity of the applicant by any of the following persons: Demonstrate a good compliance history in customs and other taxation areas including the absence of serious or repeated irregularities or criminal offences (including the legal entity and any company officials).  Y IA  A.67IA A.120
The criterion referred to above shall be considered as fulfilled where the decision-taking customs authority considers any infringement to be of negligible importance, in relation to the number or size of the related operations, and not such as to create doubts concerning the good faith of the applicant. Customs may consider applications from companies with a past history of non-compliance where these are deemed to have a negligible impact on the procedure applied for. Y IA A.67IA A.120
Management of customs operations, including internal controls and record keeping      
The demonstration by the applicant of a high level of control of his or her operations and of the flow of goods, by means of a system of managing commercial and, where appropriate, transport records, which allows appropriate customs controls Effective internal controls to manage customs processes and regimes including the maintenance of appropriate documents and records. Y IA  A.67IA A.120
Maintain an accounting system which is consistent with the generally accepted accounting principles applied in the Member State where the accounts are held and which will allow audit-based customs control. Records kept for customs purposes shall be integrated in the applicant’s accounting system or, at least allow the cross check of information with the accounting system and in such a way enabling all relevant information to be made available. The accounting system shall maintain a historical record of data that provides an audit trail from the moment the data enters the file; Clear audit trails of the import, export, movement and transfer of goods within customs procedures.  Clearly documented audit trails between customs declarations, stock records and commercial documentation. Y IA  A.67IA  A.120
Allow the customs authority physical and/or, where required by law or depending on the form in which the records are kept, electronic access to its customs and, where appropriate, commercial and/or transport records Access provided at an agreed place of business to the commercial and customs records necessary to verify the use of the procedure.    
Where necessary, remote electronic access is to be provided to commercial systems. Y IA  A.67IA  A.120   
Have a logistical system which identifies and distinguishes between Union and non-Union goods and, where appropriate, their location, except in the cases where the applicant applies for an AEOS; Clear audit trails to identify Union and non-Union goods and their locations (as appropriate) N  
Have an administrative organisation which corresponds to the type and size of business and which is suitable for the management of the flow of goods, and have internal controls capable of preventing, detecting and correcting mistakes and of detecting illegal or irregular transactions; Appropriate internal management controls to verify the accuracy of customs declarations, ensure the correct operation of procedures and to identify and correct irregularities/ mistakes Y IA  A.67IA  A.120 
Where applicable, have satisfactory procedures in place for the handling of licences and authorisations connected to commercial policy measures or to trade in agricultural products; Procedures for administering licences, health certificates, preferential origin documentation and other official documentation relating to the import and/or export of  goods N  
Have satisfactory procedures in place for the archiving of the company’s records and information and for protection against the loss of information; Have appropriate retention procedures in place to manage the archiving of all documentation relating to the import, movement, transfer, transit and export of non-Union goods as required by customs legislation Y IA  A.67IA  A.120 
Ensure that relevant employees are made aware of the need to inform the customs authorities whenever compliance difficulties are discovered and establish suitable contacts to inform the customs authorities of such occurrences; Procedures in place to inform employees, agents and third parties of the requirements of the customs procedure and ensure mechanisms are in place for any irregularities/ mistakes to be notified to the customs authorities N  
Have appropriate information technology security measures in place to protect the applicant’s computer system from unauthorised intrusion and to secure the applicant’s documentation; Adequate IT security measures to protect systems and data, e.g., firewall, antivirus programme, password protection N  
Where applicable, have procedures in place for the handling of import and/or export licences connected to prohibitions and restrictions, including measures to distinguish these goods from other goods and to ensure compliance with these prohibitions and restrictions. Procedures in place to manage licences relating to prohibitions and restrictions and adequate management controls to ensure health and safety and compliance in this area. N  
Guarantees are mandatory for this type of application and therefore the Financial Solvency criteria do not apply      
Practical experience and competency in customs operations      
With regard to the authorisation referred to in point (a) of Article 38(2), practical standards of competence or professional qualifications directly related to the activity carried out; Demonstrate a good understanding of customs procedures and operational requirements Y IA  A.67IA  A.120 
For the practical standards of competence: Have practical experience in the import, export, movement, transfer or transit of goods Y IA  A.67IA  A.120 
A minimum of three years practical experience in customs matters has been ascertained; or For businesses with less than 3 years trading history:·        Understand the obligations of operating the customs regime and demonstrate how the terms and conditions will be adhered to·        Demonstrate a good understanding of the obligations involved in importing, exporting, using transit (as appropriate) Y IA  A.67IA  A.120 
Security and Safety of the supply chain criteria do not apply to this type of application      




Bespoke Requirement applicable to Approved Exporter    
Bespoke Requirements UK Explanation of the criteria Legal Basis for criteria
Demonstrate compliance with the relevant origin rules Keep all paperwork necessary to evidence compliance with the origin rules  
  IA  A.67

IA  A.91

IA  A.119      
  The customs authorities in the Union may authorise any exporter who makes frequent shipments of products originating in the Union, within the meaning of Article DA-II-2-68(2), and who offers, to the satisfaction of the customs authorities, all guarantees necessary to verify the originating status of the products …. to make out invoice declarations, irrespective of the value of the product concerned. The applicant must be able to demonstrate that the goods comply with the relevant origin rules. This will include a description of how the goods to be exported meet the conditions of preferential origin, Suppliers’ Declarations where the exporter does not manufacture the goods. IA  A.120
  Specific Record Keeping requirements    
Records concerning the production and supply of preferential origin goods Maintain appropriate accounting records concerning the production and supply of goods qualifying for preferential treatment;
  IA  A.91
IA  A.120    
  Evidence relating to the materials used in the manufacture of preferential origin goods Keep all evidence relating to the materials used in the manufacture;
  IA  A.91
IA  A.120    
  Keep customs documentation relating to the materials used in manufacture of preferential origin goods Keep all customs documentation relating to the materials used in the manufacture;
  IA  A.91
IA  A.120  
  Retain for a period of 4 years:

·        Copies of Statements of Origin issued

Stock records relating to originating and non-originating materials, products Keep for at least three years from the end of the calendar year in which the statement on origin was made out, records of:

·        The statements on origin they made out;

Their originating and non-originating materials, production and stock accounts IA  A.91
IA  A.120