Safer, Better Business in China

Opinions, knowledge and resources from China Checkup's expert contributors


China AEO Certificate - An Introduction

China AEO Certificate - An Introduction

by Matt Slater 10 November 2020

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.

China AEO Certificate

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:
  1. Advanced Certified Enterprise (高级认证企业)
  2. General Certified Enterprise (一般认证企业)
  3. General-Credit Enterprise (一般信用企业)
  4. 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.

China Customs already has such agreements in place with 40+ nations, including those in the EU, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Switzerland plus many more.

Who Issues a China AEO Certificate?

The China AEO Certificate is issued to a company through their local branch of China Customs.

This branch can be identified from the stamp used for the "issuing authority" field, which will usually display the text in the following order:

  • 中华人民共和国 - People's Republic of China
  • XX - Branch name (e.g. 天津 - Tianjin or 杭州 - Hangzhou)
  • 海关 - Customs

Note that, although China Customs utilizers many third party certifiers for completing security checks and related certifications, the AEO certificate should always be issued directly by China Customs - this task is never delegated to a third party. 

Who Uses the China AEO Certificate?

This certificate is applicable to Mainland China-registered companies involved in import and export. Although not compulsory, it is very beneficial for those who deal with international trade.

Becoming a certified enterprise, especially an advanced certified enterprise, brings many benefits to a Chinese company, including priority goods inspection, lower inspection rate, faster customs clearance, designated customs liaison officers etc.

For a Chinese company, possessing this certificate can also help give further assurance to their customers about their capability to import to / export from China.

How to Verify a China AEO Certificate?

China Checkup offers verification of the China AEO Certificate, which is one of the certificates verifiable with our Certificate Verification service.

 

Verify a Chinese Certificate?

China AEO Certificate

Chinese Certificate Verification
Cost: $99 USD
Turnaround: 1 working day



 

Our Other Introductions




Matt Slater
Matt Slater

Author

Hi there, I'm Matt, the Founder & CEO of China Checkup. Originally from the UK, I am now based in Brisbane, Australia.

Frustrated by the scarcity of concise, high-quality and timely information about Chinese companies, I setup China Checkup whilst living in Shanghai in 2013.

My team are proud that China Checkup's company verification reports have now helped thousands of clients from all corners of the world to do business in China more safely.

  



View These Related Articles

What are the 6 Different China City Types?
What are the 6 Different China City Types?
This article takes a look at the 6 different China city types and the various levels of autonomy and power each type holds. China has over 700 official cities, from the metropolises of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong dow
Continue Reading
Chinese Economic Reform - Timeline of Key Events
Chinese Economic Reform - Timeline of Key Events
Launched by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, the decades long process of Chinese economic reform has transformed China beyond recognition. This article highlights some of the most significant events during this period in the form
Continue Reading
The Top 10 China Business Podcasts
The Top 10 China Business Podcasts
Listening to China business podcasts can be a great way to get insights on the Chinese market, pick up new knowledge and get fresh perspectives. The great news is that there is actually a lot of great podcasts out there
Continue Reading

Also in Safer, Better Business in China

List of Chinese AMR Websites
List of Chinese AMR Websites

by Matt Slater 16 November 2020

This list of Chinese AMR websites includes links to the AMR branch website for each province/administrative region in China.

In case you're wondering, the acronym "AMR" stands for "Administration for Market Regulation", which is a newly-launched Chinese government agency created by the merger of many previous agencies, including the AIC and AQSIQ.

This super regulator is now responsible for a wide range of regulatory matters in Mainland China, so if you need to get in touch with them you should find this list of Chinese AMR websites useful.

Continue Reading

China Province Abbreviations - An Introduction
China Province Abbreviations - An Introduction

by Matt Slater 30 October 2020

Did you know that China province abbreviations can be made using both Chinese and English languages?

Not only can all provinces in China be abbreviated to a two-letter code, but there is also a single Chinese character used to represent each.

This article introduces these methods as well as providing a full list of each China province abbreviation, from Anhui to Zhejiang.

Continue Reading

What is a China Company Operating Period?
What is a China Company Operating Period?

by Matt Slater 26 October 2020

The China company operating period is usually represented by two dates, which are specified on a Chinese business license.

It is the span between the date of incorporation - the first of these dates - and the expiry date of the company's registration - the second.

In some cases, a China company operating period may be open-ended meaning no specific expiry date is specified. Learn more about this here.

Continue Reading