EU is about to modernise custom applications for easier use

EU is about to modernise custom applications for easier use

It is expected that the modernised Customs Code (MCC) will become effective by November 1, 2013. The EU Parliament ratified the modernisation on September 11, 2013. The new system will become uniform for all EU countries and be renamed UCC Union Customers Code

The UCC is to serve as framework regulation on rules and procedures for customs within the EU, it entails now as a law numerous practices which until now have been implemented on a case by case basis. The proposed regulation will be applied 30 months from its date of adoption by the EU Parliament, this means by May 1, 2016.

The new code will mark a shift by EUI Customs to a paperless, fully electronic procedure. The changes will require the use of electronic data processing techniques for the exchange of data, documents, decisions and notifications between economic operators and customs officials. It aims at the full usage of IT technology by the end of 2020.

The new code will increase the harmonisation of rules on customs decisions, and it will govern the rights and obligations of traders, ensuring that they have a right to be heard. The available solutions will multiply in cases where a customs debt is incurred due to an infringement of custom rules. Further provisions reinforce swifter customs procedures for reliable traders, known as AEOs Authorised Economic Operators, its status is subject to certain conditions specifically laid down in the UCC entailing the qualifications, a record of compliance with customs and tax requirements, a satisfactory system of managing commercial and transport records, as well as practical standards of competence of professional qualifications directly related to the activity carried out and appropriate security and safety standards.

An AEO will be allowed to release the goods directly into free circulation as soon as the operator has made a customs declaration. Nevertheless, customs authorities have the power to inspect documents of goods even after the goods were released. Inspections may be carried out at the premises of the holder of the goods. Of person involved in the operations, or of persons in possession of the documents. Also a merger of inward processing, processing under customs control and destruction will take place. The holder of the authorisation will be newly able to decide after importation, to what extent the goods are re-exported, processed or destroy the goods or enter them for free circulation.

Temporary storage will remain a special regime and the need of a guarantee will be maintained, an extension of the storage period to 90 days becomes newly possible. Also there is a possibility to move goods under temporary storage to another temporary storage facility held by the same or another person, this without the use of a transit procedure. If these goods are moved to another EU member state, the authorisation holder needs to be an AEO.

The simplification of customs legislation supposedly is reducing business costs and increase legal certainty for both companies and citizens.  The new code will allow traders the full benefit offered by IT procedures and the Single Market. It is also instrumental in promoting trade and reducing cost, while improving the effectiveness of custom controls.

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