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With effect from 1st May 2016 the Union Customs Code (UCC) becomes the applicable customs law within all twenty-eight member states of the European Union (EU).
Its introduction will have a very significant impact on the way in which goods are imported, exported, cleared and forwarded. It is therefore very important that you make sure you are fully aware of all the new provisions of the UCC.
Here’s a brief summary we’ve prepared to help you get to grips with the key changes to customs regulations and procedures as they now affect you:
- the customs authorities in each member state are required to re-assess all existing customs related authorisations between 1st May 2016 and 1st May 2019 at the latest;
- Inward Processing Relief (IPR) and Processing under Customs Control (PCC) licenses will be merged into one scheme, the IPR Suspension;
- a new definition of exporter is now provided. NB all exporters must either be officially established and registered within the EU or else be represented by an officially appointed fiscal representative;
- each individual customs authority is now obliged to collect all duty amounts, including those for goods valued at less than 10 EUR (a practice currently not yet the case in all EU countries);
- a Safety and Security Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) is scheduled to be introduced in 2020 for all values of goods with the exception of items of correspondence;
- a 6-digit harmonised code for every commodity will also be required to be entered on each ENS in 2020.
What do you need to do differently?
- a Binding Tariff Information (BTI) reference number must be quoted on all customs declarations required for eligible products. Note that the BTI period of validity is reduced to three years;
- when determining the customs base for the calculation of duty and taxes on any relevant product, the value of the last sale before entering the EU must be taken;
- when applicable, royalties and license fees must be included in the customs value;
- the Value Declaration (DV1) requirement will be automated and will only be required for values above 20,000 EUR.
It should be noted that several of the above requirements are dependent on changes to national customs systems and procedures. We therefore strongly advise you to regularly check individual country’s customs websites for exact implementation dates and related documentation requirements.*
In the meantime you can be sure that FedEx will provide updates and make the introduction of all these new requirements as straightforward and simple as possible for you.
Q: What will change as of 1st of May 2016 in the way FedEx is doing customs clearance on our behalf?
A: There will be no difference in the way we perform customs clearance. There might however be changes on a later date.
Q: Do we have to provide you with new or specific information upfront?
A: The Binding Tariff Information (BTI) reference number now becomes mandatory. You will have to provide FedEx with your BTI reference number in order to guarantee you are granted to use the approved tariff code for that customs declaration.
Q: How long is the Binding Tariff Information (BTI) reference number valid for?
A: A BTI is only valid for 3 years. You have to keep track of this date and ensure you file a new request on time to ensure continuation of the BTI process.
Q: How is the customs base determined for calculating the duty and taxes?
A: It is the value of the last sale before entering the EU that must be taken into account.
Q: How does the new way of calculating the duty and taxes impact indirect selling or chain selling activities?
A: If your shipment travels outside the EU before being shipped to its final destination in the EU, the valuation of its goods is changing.
For example, if a Chinese company sells goods to a company in Dubai that immediately sells them to an EU consignee, it’s the consignee’s order that triggers the moving of the goods out of China. The value of the goods to use on the EU customs entry declaration is the price agreed between the Dubai seller and EU buyer. For customs clearance purposes the commercial invoice of the Dubai seller and EU buyer is needed.
Q: What about royalties and license fees?
A: If your buyer pays you royalties or license fees, you should either list them separately on the invoice with their price or make it clear that they are included in the overall price.
Q: What is happening with duty amounts below 10 EUR?
A: Customs authorities now have the obligation to collect all duty amounts regardless of value meaning you could see your overall duty/tax invoice amount increasing if you have such shipments.
Q: Are there any changes to the information I should put on the invoice?
A: You still have to include a detailed description of the goods. By 2020, in addition to that, a 6 digits harmonized code per product category should be given as this will be required on the safety and security entry summary declaration (ENS). The code is common in all the countries member of the World Customs Organization (WCO).
Q: Are shipments with a value below 22 EUR impacted by the UCC?
A: You could occasionally experience a customs delay on those shipments as Customs authorities might also stop shipments within this category to perform additional checks for safety and security purposes. However, there is no immediate impact expected.
Q: What else should I know as an exporter?
A: The definition of an exporter now changes. The exporter needs to be established in the EU or to have appointed a fiscal representative in the EU. If you are a customer involved in triangle exports, you are impacted and need to check if your setup is in line with the new legal requirements. FedEx advises you to contact your accountant or legal consultant for help if you are unsure about your legal setup in the EU.
Q: Is a DV1 (value declaration) still required?
A: The DV1 will be automated and only necessary for values above 20,000 EUR. This is however not yet a fact as of May 1, 2016 and is depending upon systems changes in the individual Member States of the EU.
Q: Is the de minimis (goods value under which no duty is due) changing?
A: No, it remains at 150 EUR for duty.
Q: Any influence on Authorised Economic Operators (AEO)?
A: If you aren’t AEO certified yet, a new criteria is added to obtain the customs simplifications certification. You have to prove the professional qualifications of your customs clearance staff either by demonstrating they have 3 years’ work experience, showing training records or proving you are holder of an official degree.
Q: Will anything change to my Inward Processing Relief (IPR) or PCC (Processing under Customs Control) license?
A: Yes. IPR and PCC will merge into one scheme. The IPR drawback scheme will be abolished and compensatory interest will no longer be due, leaving IPR suspension as the only scheme possible.
If you ship to Ecuador, Romania and/or Slovakia, please note that from 1 April 2019, you will need to use the correct postal codes and postal code formats when you ship to any of these three countries using your online FedEx automation solution.
From the effective date without correct postal code information you will no longer be able to generate a shipping label using your FedEx automation solution.
This change will help to prevent lost or abandoned shipments, enhancing our customer service, as well as satisfying regulatory compliance requirements.
Do you use the address book feature?
If you frequently use the address book feature or other recipient address source, please update any entries for these countries and save the correct postal code and format by March 31, 2019. We recommend updating your recipient delivery address information now to prevent issues with shipping label generation.
The following table shows the postal formats for these countries. Please note that Ecuador postal formats are also changing.
Postal Format Effective April 1, 2019
|LAC||XXXXXX (6 digits)*
||XXXXXX (6 digits)|
|EU||XXXXX (5 digits)|
*Note: Previous postal format contained only five digits.
To learn more
Please contact your local Customer Services team.
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