EU Customs Overhaul Landmark Vote Paves the Way for Trade Efficiency

The Internal Market Committee made history yesterday with its adoption of the EU Customs Code reform, marking the largest overhaul of EU customs procedures since 1968.

The proposed reform aims to alleviate the mounting pressure on customs authorities, particularly with the surge in e-commerce and the implementation of numerous product standards and regulations in recent years.

MEPs have endorsed the Commission’s proposal while introducing amendments to simplify procedures, enhance data accessibility, establish a platform for whistleblowers, and expedite the rollout of the new EU DataHub. These changes aim to facilitate trade and reduce the burden on businesses, especially SMEs.

Key highlights of the reform include a revamped approach to e-commerce, improved customs checks, and the introduction of a new IT platform for enhanced efficiency and targeted controls.

Streamlined Customs Checks and Targeted Controls

One of the approaches includes introducing a multi-level system for trusted traders, which would enhance efficiency by allowing authorities to scrutinise riskier businesses while reducing redundant checks on compliant companies.

Businesses willing to undergo thorough vetting would enjoy simplified procedures, with the most transparent ones earning trusted trader status for minimal checks and customs formalities.

Other changes include a new approach to e-commerce and ordering goods from outside the EU and an introduction to EU DataHub as the primary platform for submitting information to customs authorities.

Next Steps for EU Customs Reform

The draft report received overwhelming support in the committee, with 34 votes in favour, none against, and 5 abstentions. It will now proceed to a vote during an upcoming plenary session, expected in March, where it will represent Parliament’s initial stance.

Following the European elections on 6-9 June, the new Parliament will continue to oversee the file’s progress.

Read the press release here

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📢 Join HMRC, iCustoms & Institute of Export to discuss Developments in UK customs IT and AI.

Join HMRC, iCustoms & Institute of Export to discuss Developments in UK customs IT and AI.