During autophagy, a newly formed double membrane surrounds its cargo to generate the so-called autophagosome, which then fuses with a lysosome after closure. Previous work implicated that endosomal Rab7/Ypt7 associates to autophagosomes prior to their fusion with lysosomes. Here, we unravel how the Mon1-Ccz1 guanosine exchange factor (GEF) acting upstream of Ypt7 is specifically recruited to the pre-autophagosomal structure under starvation conditions. We find that Mon1-Ccz1 directly binds to Atg8, the yeast homolog of the members of the mammalian LC3 protein family. This requires at least one LIR motif in the Ccz1 C-terminus, which is essential for autophagy but not for endosomal transport. In agreement, only wild-type, but not LIR-mutated Mon1-Ccz1 promotes Atg8-dependent activation of Ypt7. Our data reveal how GEF targeting can specify the fate of a newly formed organelle and provide new insights into the regulation of autophagosome-lysosome fusion.