When the Prime Minister returns to Brussels to attempt to persuade the EU to reopen negotiations on the backstop agreement, it is expected that one of the “alternative arrangements” that she will be putting forward is increased use of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status.

AEO status is an accreditation recognising that a business’ customs controls and procedures are efficient and meet EU benchmarks.

Its increased use should help to prevent delays at borders after Brexit, its proponents argue.

They will now have another example to put forward as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has confirmed that PD Ports has been accredited with AEO status for its operations at Teesport.

Welcoming the announcement, Frans Calje, Chief Executive Officer at PD Ports, said: “Gaining AEO accreditation reinforces the strength of our commitment to shippers currently using Teesport or looking to the Port as an integral part of their supply chain and is a solid vote of confidence in the high standard of our port operations.”

Among the benefits to AEO accredited customers will be greater access to priority clearance of cargoes, reduced administration, traceability of flows of goods and improved security between supply chain partners, he explained.

Teesport is the first Northern Powerhouse port to be recognised in this way.

The accreditation was awarded following a 12-month internal review process that culminated in an audit from the HMRC to ensure all port operational processes, IT, security, storage, procurement and HR procedures met with strict requirements.

“There is much focus, in the light of Brexit, on the customs clearance of goods. AEO accreditation puts us on the front foot in making the movement of cargoes through Teesport as simple as possible,” Mr Calje concluded.

Last reviewed 6 February 2019