Key highlights of the 18 article changes in the Union Customs Code of the EU in 2020?

EU CU: 52 years young

The EU says that "since 1968, the Customs Union has been protecting the safety and security of citizens of its member countries and collecting customs duties that represent an important source of revenue in the EU, whilst transforming customs into a modern and responsive partner to trade".

The UCC must be 1. MODERN, 2. MODERN, 3. MODERN

Since 2016 the Union Customs Code (UCC) is the EU's comprehensive framework for customs rules and procedures in the EU customs territory. Its goal is to reflect modern customs procedures for modern trade realities using modern communication tools.

Ban paper - go AI

The Union Customs Code aims at a paperless and fully automated customs union. To get there, the EU is upgrading some existing electronic systems and introduce some new ones for the completion of all customs formalities.

Why automate?

The EU rightly argues that the use of electronic systems for all interactions between businesses and customs authorities reduces administrative costs and red tape and leverages the role of customs to support the competitiveness of European business. Effectively, most customs actions will be carried out electronically and this will speed up and streamline customs clearance.

Why is the EU proposing an amendment of the UCC in 2020?

The Eu says that the practical implementation of the UCC and its implementing provisions has shown that some amendments need to be made to that Implementing Regulation in order to

  • better adjust it to the needs of businesses and customs administrations

  • consider the latest development on electronic customs systems

  • address the latest legal cases which make it necessary to change the law.

What legal case and what does it change?

  • C-661/15 requires that the UCC states that the general time-limit of three years for claiming repayment or remission of overcharged duties also applies in relation to defective goods. So that will be changed.

ICS means one EU trader interface!?!

The new electronic system (ICS2) supports customs pre-arrival security and safety risk analysis and related controls, namely, the processing of the entry summary declaration particulars for customs risk analysis and control and the exchanges of information connected to it. Articles will be amended to ensure harmonisation in the customs the territory of the Union and to require economic operators to use one trader interface, to submit the entry summary declaration.

Entry Summary declaration details

The rules for lodging the particulars of the entry summary declaration, who can lodge them, when and how are also adjusted according to the launch of ICS2 in three releases (release 1, release 2 and release 3) and will gradually allow multiple filing of particulars of the entry summary declaration to relevant transport sectors and business models.

There are more chances that are proposed which interested parties may wish to study in detail.

More information

2020 Amendment to the Union Customs Code (UCC) - TECHNICAL BRIEFING

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