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Q.1Is participation in the HK AEO Programme mandatory?

No, participation in the HK AEO Programme is totally voluntary. Companies are advised to decide their participation having regard to their own business needs and situations.

Q.2Can a company not established in Hong Kong participate in the HK AEO Programme?

No, only companies established in Hong Kong involving in the international supply chain activities are eligible for the HK AEO Programme.

Q.3How to choose the type of AEO status in the application?

C&ED grants AEO status to qualified companies in two tiers to allow flexibility for the industries to take part in the HK AEO Programme. An applicant thus can choose to join either Tier 1 or Tier 2 on the basis of their business needs and level of compliance with the pre-determined criteria.

Q.4How will Customs officers conduct validation visits to the premises of the applicant?

Customs officers will visit the applicant's premises on different occasions to verify the accuracy of the information outlined in the application and the implementation of measures required. If situation requires, selective validation on the applicant's business partners may be arranged. C&ED will notify the applicant in advance of the validation visits along with the need for supporting documents.

Q.5Will ISO certifications or other international certifications be recognized under the HK AEO Programme?

In accrediting an applicant, C&ED will take into consideration certifications awarded by professional associations like the International Organization of Standardization (ISO), Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA), etc. However, possession of such certifications will not exempt the applicant from any of the assessment criteria.

Q.6Will self-assessment of an applicant be conducted on those functions which have been outsourced to a third party?

In conducting self-assessment, the company should also evaluate those outsourced aspects and indicate if its business partner (such as transportation agent) has complied with the relevant security criterion based on contractual obligation or available declarations.

Q.7How long will the accreditation take?

The duration of accreditation process depends very much on:
(i)   the completeness of information submitted to C&ED;
(ii)  the complexity of the applicant's business operations; and
(iii) the number of sites where joint validation may be conducted.
C&ED will have a pre-accreditation meeting with the applicant to discuss the way forward and work out a schedule together.

Q.8What can an applicant do if the applicant disagrees to C&ED's accreditation decisions?

If an applicant does not agree to any C&ED's accreditation decisions, the applicant can contact the Office of Supply Chain Security Management:

Address   : Room 3219, 32/F
                 Customs Headquarters Building
                 222 Java Road, North Point
                 Hong Kong
Telephone : (852) 3759 2153
Fax           : (852) 3108 2311
Email        :

Hong Kong AEO Programme