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Simplification and rationalization of processing of Authorized Economic Operator (AEO)-T1 application

Circular No.ES/160/2018-19                                                                                August 13, 2018

To: Members of the Council

Sub.: Simplification and rationalization of processing of Authorized Economic Operator (AEO)-T1 application

Dear Member,

We are pleased to inform you that the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has issued Circular No. 26/2018- Customs dated 10th August, 2018 by simplifying and rationalizing the processing of Authorized Economic Operator (AEO)-T1 application.

Your kind attention is invited to the Circular 33/2016-Customs dated 22nd July, 2016 regarding the review of entity based facilitation programmes viz. Accredited Client Programme (ACP) and Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme and its Revised Guidelines.

The Board had received many suggestions from members of Trade, wherein it has been emphasized that the compliance requirements for AEO- T1 are not commensurate with the benefits allowed to AEO T1 entities. The suggestions also highlighted the fact that this has made it difficult to attract entities into the AEO fold.

In view of the above, it has been decided that-

  • The present Annexure for AEO T1 application i.e. Annexure A, C, D, E1,E2, E3 & E4 shall be hereby replaced with the Annexure 1 and Annexure 2 (Refer to Circular No. 26/ 2018).
  • The processing by way of new annexures, annexure 1 & 2, will come in effect immediately.
  • All the new applications for AEO T1 are to be mandatorily filed in form of the new annexures -annexure 1 & 2.

To implement the simplified processing and to ensure its effectiveness, the competent authority has decided the following-

  • The process of accreditation of AEO-T1 shall be decentralized to the Zonal level.
  • In this decentralized scheme of work, the AEO- T1 application will be filed with the Zonal AEO Cell (as already been done by virtue of Circular 3/2018- Cus).
  • The said application will be processed by the Zonal AEO cell and the final acceptance or rejection will be decided by Zonal AEO Programme Manager [designated Pr. Commissioner/Commissioner rank officer in Customs Zone nominated by Pr. Chief Commissioner/ Chief Commissioner, Customs].
  • The Zonal AEO cells will only intimate the decision of Zonal AEO Programme Manager to Directorate of International Customs for generation of certificate [with relevant information of the applicant— Name, IEC Number & PAN] and statistics management.
  • For the application that have already been received by the Customs Zones prior to the of issuance of this circular, the Zonal AEO Programme Manager will have discretion to allow the processing of the application either by way of earlier annexures (Annexure A, C, D, El, E2, E3 & E4) or by way of new annexures (annexure 1 & 2) on case to case basis.

Please note the following-

  • The digitization of processing of AEO T1 application is already underway.
  • The online processing of AEO T1 application will commence as soon as the necessary digital infrastructure is in place.
  • The processing of new AEO T1 application in form of the new annexures (annexure 1 &2) will come in effect immediately. This will ensure proper preparedness and adequate time to Customs Zones to take up necessary outreach to the trade, informing them about the relevant changes as well as imminent automation of AEO T1 application processing, before the process of transition to digitization is initiated.
  • The Board Circular No. 33/2016- Customs dated 22/7/2016 as amended stands modified to above extent

 Members may kindly make a note of the above.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,


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