Southampton headquartered Meachers Global Logistics, one of the UK’s leading independent providers of logistics services, announced that it has gained Customs Simplification certification as an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) and is on track to meet the Security standard early in 2010. The HM Revenue and Customs EU wide accreditation will prove increasingly beneficial to Meachers Global Logistics and its customers as regulations tighten over the next two years.
AEO is a voluntary compliance and security standard and is similar to the US Customs and Trade Partnership Against Terror that was introduced in the USA following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Similar standards are being introduced across the world and include such countries as Canada, China and India. AEO helps to enhance supply chain security by granting recognition to those audited organisations meeting the highest compliance standards in all aspects of their operations, and by encouraging continual best practice.
HM Revenue and Customs operates three levels of accreditation: Customs Simplification, Security and the two combined, Customs Simplification and Security Certification.
Meachers Global Logistics received a certificate for Customs Simplification following a period of assessment and the submission of extensive documentation. Areas of scrutiny included the robustness of computer systems and hardware, network security, contingency planning; training Customs compliance and quality assurance processes. The Company anticipates applying for and being awarded Security status early in 2010. The Application is now in progress following a delay whilst one of its major premises completed refurbishment.
Commenting on the success, Rob Lewis, International Operations Director, said: “The process has improved and strengthened us as an organisation, we expect AEO to become a growing requirement. As customers become more aware of AEO we believe that tenders are likely to stipulate it as a requirement and we anticipate it becoming an industry standard. After 6 audits I’m delighted that we passed stage one and anticipate being granted approval for stage two in the spring of next year.”