The Community Customs Code codifies Community customs law. It replaces a great many acts of law, thereby increasing transparency. It lays down the scope of customs provisions and the basic definitions.

The Modernised Customs Code creates a new electronic customs environment.

The new Code integrates the common customs procedures in the Member States while reinforcing convergence between the computerised systems of the 27 customs authorities. It will replace the 1992 Customs Community Code, once the necessary implementing provisions are adopted and made applicable, at the latest by 24 June 2013. In the interim period the existing code applies.

The Code’s provisions:

The 2008 Modernised Customs Code covers:

  • general provisions on the scope of customs legislation, the mission of customs and the rights and obligations of persons with regard to customs legislation;
  • factors on the basis of which import and export duties and other measures in respect of trade in goods are applied (Common Customs Tariff), origin of goods, value for customs purposes);
  • customs debt and guarantees of this debt;
  • customs treatmentof goods brought into the customs territory of the Community;
  • rules on customs status, placing goods under a customs procedure, as well as verification, release, and disposal of goods;
  • release for free circulation and relief from export duties;
  • special customs procedures organised into four economic functions (transit, storage, specific use, processing);
  • customs treatment of goods leaving the customs territory of the Community (goods leaving the territory, export and re-export, relief from export duties);
  • the Customs Code Committee and procedures enabling the Commission to adopt the measures implementing the Code.

New provisions regarding the streamlining of customs procedures to facilitate trade and prevent new threats.

Thus through strengthening the common regulatory and operational framework of customs authorities, the Code introduces modern processes based on electronic techniques in order to:

  • guarantee as a general rule the simplification and uniform application of customs legislation;
  • improve customs controls, which are based primarily on a risk analysis as part of a common risk management framework. Controls other than customs controls should, wherever possible, be performed at the same time as customs controls at a ‘one-stop-shop’;
  • facilitate clearance procedures, which will be fully computerised, will offer maximum simplifications and can be carried out centrally;
  • streamline current ‘economic and/or suspensive’ customs procedures, which have been reorganised into ‘special procedures’ enabling the transit (external and internal), storage (temporary storage, customs warehousing, free zones), specific use (temporary admission or end-use), and processing (inward or outward processing) of goods to better respond to the economic needs of the operators and to simplify access to them.
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