Union Customs Code Come Come Into Force in the EU
New customs rules come into force in the European Union earlier this month.
The Union Customs Code (UCC) is designed to make life simpler for businesses that trade in Europe and better protect consumers against illegal and counterfeit goods.
The UCC represents an overhaul of existing EU customs legislation, which dates back to 1992. It is a milestone for the European Customs Union, the framework which allows more than €3 trillion worth of goods to flow in and out of the EU each year.
The new rules aim to allow traders to clear customs procedures more simply and quickly, getting goods to consumers faster and more cheaply; better protect consumers against illegal goods or goods which don’t respect European environmental, health and safety requirements; and improve cooperation between customs administrations with the help of new IT systems.
“An efficient EU Customs Union facilitates trade while at the same time enforcing necessary rules for security, safety and intellectual property rights,” said Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs. “The new Union Customs Code opens the door to new state-of-the-art IT systems that will provide fast and quality data on goods being traded and will allow extremely close coordination among the administrations of our member states”.
Modern IT systems are essential in order to allow customs systems to work efficiently and they are at the heart of the new rules. The new UCC puts in place IT systems that both customs administrations and traders need for simple and fast clearance of customs procedures while also ensuring that all necessary checks and controls are carried out. Once cleared by customs in one member state, goods can move freely within the union on the basis that all member states apply the same revenue and protection rules at external borders.
The UCC should be fully implemented by the end of 2020. During the transitional period, the new rules will apply by using existing IT systems and, in some cases, paper forms. Work to develop the new systems or to upgrade existing ones has already begun.