The CBIC had introduced a liberalized Authorised Economic Operator package for MSMEs

The CBIC had introduced a liberalized Authorised Economic Operator package for MSMEs

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) recently stated it has introduced a liberalized Authorised Economic Operator package for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in order to make swift customs clearances.

For attracting MSMEs in order to become Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) as well as avail several benefits, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had relaxed the compliance standards provided the MSMEs has a valid certificate from their line-ministry.  

The simplified requirements will allow the MSMEs who have filed a minimum of 10 customs clearance documents in a year and who have a clean compliance record over 2 years towards applying for the scheme, the CBIC stated in a statement. 

The documentary requirements were also been simplified. However, one added feature is that the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) is committed to making a decision on an application for granting of the Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) status in 15 days from the electronic submission of complete documents for Authorised Economic Operators (AEO)Tier 1. Additional benefits, such as a further reduction in Bank Guarantee requirements, were also been introduced for MSMEs and shall be expanded subsequently.

AEO status

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had introduced the 'Liberalised MSME Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) Package' scheme that has been a voluntary compliance program that allows swifter Customs clearance for accredited stakeholders in the global supply chain specifically importers, exporters, logistic service providers, custodians, etc.

The approved Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) derive several benefits which include:

•    the Direct Port Delivery (DPD) facility for the imported containers, 

•    the facility of Direct Port Entry (DPE) of the Exported Containers, 

•    higher level of facilitation in customs clearance of their consignments thus confirming shorter cargo release time, 

•    an exemption from bank guarantees, along with a Client Relationship Manager at the customs port as a single point of interaction.

•    An additional significant benefit available towards specified Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) is that their payment of Customs duty is delayed and shall not be paid before the clearance of the imported goods by Customs. 

•    Again, one added benefit for Tier 2 Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) is that their exports towards certain nations are accorded facilitation through the foreign Customs administration with whom India enters into a Mutual Recognition Agreement/Arrangement.

Through the “Liberalised MSME AEO Package”, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) boosts all eligible MSMEs towards availing advantages of faster Customs clearances as well as other related benefits.


An authorized economic operator (AEO) is basically a business entity that is involved in the international movement of products that requires compliance with provisions of the national Customs law as well as it is approved by or on behalf of the national administration in compliance with World Customs Organization (WCO) or equivalent supply chain security guidelines. The security standards are stated in the World Customs Organisation Safe framework of standards, which is the basis of the Indian AEO program.

After reviewing the difficulties which have been faced by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) at the time of applying for Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) accreditation, the Central Board of Indirect Taxation and Customs (CBIC) had thus simplified the custom compliance and security requirements involved in the procedure. The relaxation was implemented in order to make certain that the MSMEs are facilitated through rationalized compliance requirements as well as minimum but effectual security requirements, as stated in a circular made on 15th December 2020 which has been by CBIC’s Directorate of International Customs (DIC).

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eStartIndia Team

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