Six years after Conroute Air & Sea, the exclusive Swedish partner of the U-Freight Group (UFL), was certified by the Swedish Customs authority as an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO-F), its sister company Conroute Logistics has achieved its own AEO-F accreditation. Eva Westling, branch manager Stockholm-Arlanda, who played a key role in Conroute Logistics’ accreditation process says: “We will see tangible benefits of AEO accreditation including fewer physical and documentary examinations of cargo, priority use of non-intrusive inspection techniques when examination is required, priority processing by Customs whenever security is heightened and ‘Preferred Trader’ eligibility.” Many companies within the U-Freight network have achieved AEO accreditation including U-Freight Holland, as well as U-Freight’s Spanish (Tracosa) and German (Alpha trans Luft- und Seefrachtspedition) partners. In the USA, U-Freight America is validated under the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) programme. Simon Wong, CEO of UFL says: “For UFL, supply chain security remains a number one priority, both for our own subsidiaries and for our exclusive partner network around the world. “Authorised economic operators in the EU, such as our Dutch subsidiary, and Swedish, Spanish and German partners, will receive benefits when trading internationally.” The AEO scheme is one of a series of measures being co-ordinated by the World Customs Organisation as part of a multi-layered approach to facilitating trade whilst making supply chains more secure and controlled. In adopting the AEO regime, the EU is aligning with similar measures introduced by other countries, including the USA and Japan. The scheme provides legitimate businesses with a quality mark, which will demonstrate that their internal controls, staff training and procedures are effective and compliant.