iCON receives AEO status and customs approval for simplified local clearance procedure


Good news for our customers and business partners - iCON can now further expand its high quality of service. In July 2023, with the completion of an extensive internal customs project, iCON International Container GmbH was awarded the AEO-C certificate by the main customs office in Hamburg. With this certificate iCON qualifies as "Authorized Economic Operator" (AEO) and enjoys special trust in the interaction with authorities and business partners. The AEO certificate attests to the status of a participant, especially in customs and foreign trade matters, who operates with the necessary security within the framework of legal requirements and is considered particularly reliable. It enables us to take advantage of a number of simplifications in the area of customs clearance, which in turn benefit our customers.

Approval for the simplified local clearance procedure

With the granting of the AEO certification, the door was opened for iCON to apply for a simplified local clearance procedure for the import of goods. The crucial advantage here is that the release of goods, which have been declared to customs for import, are usually released by customs within less than 1 hour. This means especially for urgent deadline deliveries, short term acceptance of containers and other special cases that processes can be managed without delays for our customers. The permit allows us to register goods at practically all physical locations in Germany where we market containers, whether in Hamburg or in hinterland container depots in Nuremberg or Leipzig. Customers who wish to make spontaneous use of a purchase offer can receive our containers on the same day and in the shortest possible time. Customers, to whom we deliver new building containers from Asia directly free of charge, can practically take possession of the containers upon delivery, without having to wait several days for customs clearance, as has been the case up to now.

Support from the foreign trade professionals of AWB Consulting, Hamburg

In cooperation with the customs and foreign trade professionals of AWB Consulting GmbH in Hamburg, the project was set up at iCON in the spring of 2022. The objective was clearly set: acceleration of the import processes for faster provision of containers for our customers. After an intensive inventory of all relevant processes in the area of goods flow, accounting and data processing, the route was mapped out and the project was set up. The highly professional team led by Managing Director Frank Görtz had the special expertise in the field of customs and foreign trade law combined with profound practical knowledge and experience to implement the jointly formulated objective in a pragmatic manner, efficiently and tailored to the needs of their client. In the pitfalls of customs law, it is immensely helpful to have knowledgeable "scouts" at your side who are not only familiar with the regulations, but can also pave the way for the client through the thicket of specifications in a practical manner. From the point of view of the iCON team involved, the processing of the AEO questionnaire alone was an adventure in itself.

Putting corporate security to the test

On the other hand, it is an immensely helpful methodology to paint a concrete picture of the security-relevant issues from the company's point of view and to critically question oneself as to where there are gaps in the company's security system. Anyone who sets out on this journey learns a lot about their own company, because they take on an unfamiliar position - but one that helps them to gain good insights. Overall, we have learned a lot as a company and can now sleep more soundly at night in some respects. We were able to make gaps visible and develop and implement appropriate solutions.

Insofar, the project was a success for iCON International Container Service GmbH in two respects:

  • increased quality of service for our customers
  • more security for the company

Contact details AWB Consulting GmbH, Hamburg

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