The Union Custom Code (UCC) became applicable on 1 May 2016. The UCC is part of a modernised EU custom law and replaces the Community Custom Code (CCC). The UCC is a Framework Regulation and supplemented by implementation regulations: Delegated Act (DA) and Implementing Act (IA). Main aim of the new regulations is to simplify custom procedures and bring custom law in line with modern-day requirements.
Union Custom Code changes
Amended custom provisions have been implemented in the following fields:
- Custom valuation: Royalties and licence fees have to be added to the import value even if paid to third parties.
- Custom valuation: The first sale for export rule have been abolished. The last sale for export rule is now the only applicable principle.
- Binding tariff information: The period of validity has been decreased from 6 to 3 years.
- Temporary storage: The time limit for storing goods after entering the custom territory of the Union has been extended to 90 days. What is also new is that it requires an authorisation of the customs authorities.
- Compulsory guarantees: Guarantees are now compulsory for temporary storage and special custom procedures.
- Authorized Economic Operator: The Status of an AEO has been strengthened. More Information see here.
A fully IT and paperless environment will be introduced. However, the necessary IT systems are not yet in place and the existing systems have not yet been upgraded. The aim is to have those systems completed by the end of 2020. Therefore the Transitional Delegated Act (TDA) allows customs authorities to continue using existing paper based or IT systems until new IT systems are implemented.
Another problem for custom authorities and companies is the fact that the publishing of implementation regulations (DA, IA and TDA) have been delayed massively. Therefore for example German customs authorities grants various administrative reliefs for the period May 2016 to April 2019.
Authors: Peter Scheller, German Tax Adviser, Master of International Taxation