The China AEO Certificate is a document held by companies in China engaged in import and export activities.
Issued by China Customs, the certificate specifies the company's enterprise classification, which determines their level of inspections and more.
Requesting and verifying a supplier's China AEO certificate can be a sensible measure to understand if they are registered with China Customs as an "Authorized Economic Operator" and to check their AEO type.
What is a China AEO Certificate?
Below is an image showing what the China AEO certificate looks like. You may have received a photo or scan of this document from a Chinese company.
What Information is Contained in a China AEO Certificate?
From top to bottom, here are the various fields and what they mean:
- Certificate Number (证书编号)
- AEO Name (认证企业名称) - official name of the company
- AEO Code (认证企业编号) - a unique identifier
- AEO Type (认证企业类型) - in China there are 4 different levels (or "types") of enterprise classification:
- Advanced Certified Enterprise (高级认证企业)
- General Certified Enterprise (一般认证企业)
- General-Credit Enterprise (一般信用企业)
- Discredited Enterprise (失信企业)
- Date of Authorization (认证日期) - when the authorization was initially given
- Issuing Authority (发证机关) - authorized by the authority named on the stamp
- Date of Issue (发证日期) - when the certificate was issued
What does "AEO" actually mean?
The acronym "AEO" stands for "Authorized Economic Operator". In Chinese this is called "经认证的经营者".
AEO is key part of a framework of standards developed by the World Customs Organization to help support and secure global trade.
China is one of many countries to sign up to the framework, which aims to establish common systems for Customs organizations worldwide.
Ultimately, the goal is for different countries to recognize each others' AEO programs via mutual recognition agreements, paving the way for a secure global supply chain.