EU proposes Single Window for Customs - FINALLY

Better late than never. While many countries are already happily implementing a Single Window for customs, the EU will now attempt its version. Extra complication: No one country to connect - but 27! We break it down.

The European Commission has proposed the so-called ‘EU Single Window Environment for Customs' aims to facilitate the automatic verification of non-customs formalities for goods entering or leaving the EU.

The Single Window aims to digitalise and streamline processes, so that businesses will ultimately no longer have to submit documents to several authorities through different portals. The project aims to modernise border controls over the coming decade, in order to

o facilitate trade, o improve safety and compliance checks, o and reduce the administrative burden for companies.

Today’s operating model: Too many fish in the OCEAN Currently, the formalities required at the EU's external borders often involve many different authorities in charge of different policy areas, such as

· health and safety, · the environment, · agriculture, · fisheries, · cultural heritage · market surveillance and · product compliance.

As a result, businesses have to submit information to several different authorities, each with their own portal and procedures. This is cumbersome and time-consuming for traders and reduces the capacity of authorities to act in a joined-up way in combatting risks.

How will the Single Window work in practice? The Single Window will enable businesses and traders

1. to provide data in one single portal in an individual Member State, thereby reducing duplication, time and costs.

2. Customs and other authorities will then be able to collectively use this data, allowing for a fully coordinated approach to goods clearance and a clearer overview at EU level of the goods that are entering or leaving the EU.

Member States should set up national Single Window portals, through which businesses can upload the information related to the goods they are bringing in or out of the EU. These national portals will then link up through the EU digital framework that the Commission will put in place, so that all relevant authorities can access the relevant data and collaborate more easily on border checks.

Ultimately, the aim is that national Single Windows will replace the multitude of different portals used by the different authorities responsible for border checks. This will create a much more streamlined, coordinated and holistic approach to goods clearance within the Union.

More information:



Legislative Proposal:

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