The European Commission has adopted a legal act to create a simpler, more modern and integrated EU customs system to support cross-border trade and provide for more EU-wide cooperation in customs matters. According to a Commission press release, this delegated act covers a wide area of customs activity, including the following.
- simplification of the customs procedure for inward processing, which allows the processing of non-EU goods without payment of import duty and other charges
- clearer rules to ensure equal treatment of economic operators in the EU
- wide-ranging provisions that will allow customs decisions and authorizations to be valid across the EU in the future
- establishing common data requirements as the basis for new IT systems
- linking member states' customs administrations to ensure a seamless exchange of information
- improvements in risk management to reinforce the fight against trade in illicit and prohibited goods, terrorism and other criminal activities
The Commission states that this act builds on the Union Customs Code, a major overhaul of EU customs rules that came into force in 2013, by setting out the details of the rules that will apply from May 1, 2016. The act will now be considered by the European Parliament and the European Council, which can both raise any objections within two months. It will be supplemented by an additional implementing act, which will be voted on by the Customs Code Committee composed of representatives from EU member states.