The next Union Customs code and the customs action plan

The new Union Customs Code is the answer to CAP (Customs Action Plan) by which the EU reacts to this problem: the current customs system is burdensome for legitimate trade. And customs authorities struggle in their mission to protect the EU, its financial interests, citizens, enterprises, the Single Market, and the environment.

In particular, there are the points highlighted:

  • Customs authorities struggle in their mission to protect the EU;
  • Compliance with customs formalities is burdensome for legitimate trade;
  • The customs model is not fit for e-commerce;
  • Limited data quality, access, and analysis;
  • Member States diverge significantly in the application of the customs rules.

In particular, the working document reports that: “…Customs is the only comprehensive capability of the EU to supervise international supply chains and all goods crossing the external borders. The customs authorities supervise the flow of goods in and out of the EU for ensuring compliance with a broad range of requirements across different policy domains…” and “…customs need to ensure proper, effective and timely collection of customs duties and taxes due. This includes deterring customs fraud and undervaluation and thereby preventing the loss of revenue for both the EU budget and the Member States…”. Very interesting is the analysis of the reliable trades for which, the working document undelines that “…A third aspect is the practical understanding of the existing scheme (AEO) and in particular its use as a badge of trust between traders and for purposes of international mutual recognition agreements, currently limited to ‘AEO S’ (recognition for security and safety purposes). Each option needs to present a balanced package. In addition, each option needs to ensure that overall, the customs supervision remains effective…”.