Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program for streamline import & export


  • An Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) means a company approved by the Korea Customs Service to satisfy the authorization requirements in compliance with the law, internal control system, financial solvency, and safety management.
  • AEO is a program built based on customs-private partnership under the international principle (SAFE Framework), adopted unanimously at the Council Session of the World Customs Organization (WCO) in June 2005. An AEO refers to a business related to the cargo logistics that have acquired authorization for its credibility and security from the customs authorities.

AEO Benefits

  • Businesses recognized as the AEO get various benefits, such as simplified inspections and clearance procedures, less financial burden, and other multiple benefits. Also, simplified risk management control is granted for AEOs.
  • Furthermore, a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with other countries that have adopted the AEO system would benefit AEO businesses in terms of expedited clearance, including through reduced inspection, among others.

Applying for AEO status

Businesses eligible to apply for AEO status include exporters, importers, certified customs brokers, bonded area operators, bonded transportation companies, stevedores, forwarders, shipping companies, and airlines.

To apply for AEO status, file the application for authorization with the required documents through the Korea Customs Service UNI-PASS.

Required documents:

  • A self-evaluation list on the current status of export and import transaction to meet authorization standards
  • A document which explains the current situation of export and import transaction and supporting documents for it
  • A copy of the business registration certificate
  • A copy of corporation registration
  • A document detailing the personal data of the CEO and chief manager
  • Chief manager's certificate of education completion
  • Best practices relating to export and import management (If any)

Review Process for AEO Authorization

Commissioner of the Korea Customs Service conducts a documentary review based on the submitted documents. After an on-site examination of security management and others, whether to authorize the business as an AEO is decided at the Korea Customs Service's authorization deliberation committee