EU customs reform moves forward in the European Parliament

The draft report was adopted in committee with 34 votes in favor, 0 against and 5 abstentions. It will now be put to the vote at a forthcoming plenary session (most likely in March) and will constitute Parliament´s position at first reading. The dossier will be followed by the new Parliament after the European elections from June 6 to 9.

Members of the European Parliament backed the Commission´s proposal and amended it to further simplify procedures, clarify data processing and accessibility, create a platform for whistleblowers, make the new EU DataHub available earlier, facilitate trade and lighten the burden, especially for PYMEs.

The proposed reform aims to relieve customs authorities, which are under enormous pressure due to the exponential growth of e-commerce and the numerous rules, bans, obligations and penalties on new products that the EU has put in place in recent years.

Parliamentary rapporteur for the dossier, Deirdre Clune, said after the vote: "This report reinforces the essential need for the EU to ensure that goods entering its territory are safe and comply with EU requirements, while ensuring that customs procedures are as efficient as possible for economic operators, reducing administrative burdens for businesses. With increasing volumes of trade, especially in e-commerce, and the growing number of non-fiscal requirements to be checked at the border, harmonization under the UAC and some new benefits, such as the Customs Data Center, need to be accelerated to meet these challenges."

New approach to e-commerce
Currently, 65% of e-commerce shipments are deliberately undervalued, resulting in a significant loss of revenue. In addition, up to 66% of products purchased online do not meet EU security standards. The new regulation will oblige large platforms to submit information on products to be shipped to the EU within one day of purchase. This will give customs authorities a better overview of incoming shipments and goods that may not comply with EU rules.

More effective and targeted customs controls
A new multilevel system of trusted traders would ensure that the authorities do not waste time repeatedly checking the same law-abiding companies and focus instead on the riskiest companies. Companies that agree to undergo thorough preliminary checks will benefit from a simplified set of procedures. The most reliable and transparent companies would obtain trusted trader status, allowing them to undergo minimal customs controls and formalities.

New IT platform
The new law would establish an EU DataHub as the main platform for submitting information to customs authorities. This would provide a better overview of suspicious inconsistencies, potential cases of tax fraud and risks related to specific companies or goods. As a result, authorities would be able to focus their controls on less reliable shipments and companies.

The platform would also benefit businesses by replacing more than 111 different customs-related IT systems currently in use in Europe. Submitting information would be simpler, which would reduce the burden and costs.

Members of the European Parliament want the EU DataHub to become operational earlier than proposed by the Commission (i.e. in 2028) as a voluntary pilot project. In addition, they want to create a separate platform for whistleblowers, so that consumers and companies can easily report products that do not meet EU standards.


News and image obtained: "Diario del Puerto"



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