Union Customs Code

The Union Customs Code (UCC) becomes effective in the European Union from 1 May 2016.   The main provisions include.

  • Introduction of mandatory guarantees for most special procedures and temporary storage (TS) – this only applies to new authorisations.
  • The ability to make some movements under TS rather than national transit or Electronic Transit System (ETS) – formerly New Computerised Transit System (NCTS).
  • The removal of the earlier sales provisions relating to valuation – but there are some transitional arrangements.
  • All communications between customs authorities and economic operators must be electronic.

Changes in procedures

Some procedures and reliefs will cease or change on 30 April 2016, these are:

  • the €10 waiver of customs duty for free circulation customs declarations – where customs duty is payable no de-minimis exemption will apply – this doesn’t affect any Community System of Duty Reliefs (CSDR) duty reliefs
  • goods being declared to Onward Supply Relief (OSR) (customs procedure code 42 series) – can only be entered using a full customs declaration or the Simplified Declaration Procedure (SDP)
  • the use of Information Sheets for Special Procedures (INF) documents with an Entry in Declarant’s Records (EIDR)
  • Inward Processing Drawback (IP (D)) and Low Value Bulking Imports (LVBI) authorisations will no longer be valid and these authorisations can’t be used to import goods regardless of any expiry dates shown on your authorisations
  • Processing under Customs Control (PCC) authorisation holders will be given an Inward Processing (IP) authorisation number which must be used for new importations after 30 April 2016
  • type D customs warehousing authorisation holders will be given a new authorisation number with a prefix of C (for type D authorisation), or E (for a type E warehouse with type D rules of assessment) – these must be used for entries to customs warehouses after 1 May 2016, the normal debt rules of assessment will apply
  • goods being declared to LVBI will only be entered using an SDP authorisation.

Impact on business

It’s not mandatory to become an AEO unless the business wishes to be authorised for:

  • moving goods in TS between different member states
  • centralised clearance (to be introduced at a later date)
  • waiver of the presentation of goods requirement when making declarations in your records – Entry in Declarants Records (EIDR)
  • self-assessment (to be introduced at a later date)
  • deferment accounts – reduced guarantees for customs duties payable

However, for many authorisations and simplifications within the UCC the business will need to meet some or all of the customs simplifications AEO certificate (AEOC) criteria. Unless the business wishes to obtain an authorisation for any of the above (and therefore an AEOC certificate is required), it needs to make a commercial decision on whether:

  • AEO certification is appropriate, or
  • it’s sufficient for the business to prove it meets the AEO standards.

This must be based on the information available, the business activities and its role in the supply chain.