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UK shippers should get AEO status, says expert

By: Ashley Curtis
18 July 2011

A rallying cry has been issued by Davis Turner, a freight and logistics group, urging more UK firms to gain Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status.

The firm has been approved as an AEO just 18 months after Davis Turner Air Cargo Ltd became one of the first AEO-accredited companies anywhere in the EU, according to Handy Shipping Guide.

By applying to gain AEO status, it provides managers with a "great opportunity to examine how you work, revitalise your internal systems and use the occasion to redefine your business practices," says David Stephenson, the Davies Turner chairman. 

Gaining AEO accreditation may also be a great way to recruit new staff via a logistics consultancy, as the status could attract skilled workers to a business.

Germany has upwards of 2,500 AEO-accredited export/import firms while a meagre 250 British operators can say the same - a figure that pales in comparison to Italian and Polish firms.

According to, there is a further commercial incentive to get AEO status; namely "the growing pressure in Europe to harmonise customs practices among member states."

Stephenson elaborates further: "The stark truth is that with so few UK companies compared to European operators being awarded this status, more British firms must now regain the initiative and apply, or risk losing out over the next few years to foreign competition."

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