EU legislation to have big impact on customs warehouses

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The Union Customers Code (UCC) will have a significant impact on the way some British customs warehouses are operated, the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) has said.

The three key changes in the code which will impact customs warehouse operators are:

  1. Customs warehouse facilities must be re-authorised by May 2019
  2. A guarantee to cover the potential duty on the goods stored in the warehouse will become a mandatory requirement
  3. The need for import supplementary declarations to be made to HMRC will be removed from May this year.

According to UKWA, the UCC is designed to: ‘Consolidate and modernise customs legislation and provide a legal basis for electronic communications, which will become the norm throughout the EU’.

The legislation, which is set to impact the 3PL sector, will come into effect in May 2016.

“The UCC is intended to standardise more practices within the Community, which means that not only must more control come from Brussels, but also that procedures and communication systems must be aligned within the member states to ensure that traders have access to the same facilities,” said Barbara Scott of Customs Associates, UKWA’s honorary advisers on customs issues. “But, logistics service providers who operate in more than one member state will know how very different the processes are and how this is ideology will be difficult to achieve.”

UKWA has said that with legislation of this nature the consequences for UK businesses are unclear.

“The reduction in import supplementary reporting to HMRC certainly sounds like great news,” said Scott. “However, the business system must still be populated with the customs data and Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) providers currently expect that traders will continue to have to update their systems as they do at present but the data will simply not be sent to CHIEF – the processing system of customs declarations.”

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