circular economy,  compliance e AEO

The context of the new Union Customs Code: the next challenges of the customs


The Commission staff working document impact assesment report “Accompanying the document Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Union Customs Code and the European Union Customs Authority, and repealing Regulation (EU) No 952/2013” has been published on 22.05.2023 and defines the context where the new Union Customs Code will be placed. This context is the Custom Union founded in 1968 which manages the external border of the EU by enforcing the rules governing the cross-border movement of goods, including by imposing a common tariff on goods imported from third countries.

Customs traditionally collect customs duties and other taxes on imports and are responsible for the enforcement of non-financial sectoral legislation applicable to goods (so-called ‘prohibitions and restrictions’) has increased exponentially, in line with growing expectations regarding security, sustainability, safety, health and the protection of human rights.

  • ECONOMY AND FINANCE TASKS: Tariffs, Quotas, Anti-dumping, Excise, VAT, Intellectual Property Rights;
  • SUSTAINABILITY/CIRCULAR ECONOMY/SINGLE MARKET: Ecodesign, Phytosanitary, Waste, Toy Safety, F-gases, REACH, Forced Labour, Deforestation;
  • SECURITY: Sanctions, export controls, Drugs/Precursors, New psychoactive substances, Counter-terrorism, Firearms, Explosives.

In the field of environmental legislation, Customs are involved in the enforcement of numerous rules inter alia on chemicals, the protection of species of wild fauna and flora, the fight against climate change by minimising the use and emissions of dangerous substances. Customs will also be called on to apply new EU rules to curb deforestation and treat waste shipments. Moreover, the Sustainable Products Initiative proposal calls on Customs to cross-check the customs declaration with the information on the imported goods contained in the newly created digital passport for products, to reduce the negative life cycle environmental impacts of products placed on the Single Market. The  Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, from October 2023, will help ensure that the EU’s climate objectives are not undermined by the risk of carbon leakage and encourage producers in non-EU countries to green their production processes. The mechanism applies to imported goods, and customs supports the enforcement.