EU modernises customs procedures

Brussels, July 29 (IANS) The European Commission has created a “simpler, more modern and integrated” EU customs system to support cross-border trade and provide for more EU-wide cooperation in customs matters.

According to a Commission press release on Tuesday, a legal act covers a wide area of customs activity, including simplifications of the customs procedure inward processing, clearer rules to ensure equal treatment of economic operators in the EU, and wide-ranging provisions which will allow customs decisions and authorizations to be valid across the EU in the future, reported Xinhua.

The act also includes establishing common data requirements as the basis for new IT systems linking Member States’ customs administrations to ensure a seamless exchange of information, and improvements in risk management to reinforce the fight against trade in illicit and prohibited goods, terrorism and other criminal activities.

The Commission has been working for several years on a major overhaul of customs rules in the EU. The basic regulations were changed in 2013. Detailed acts must subsequently be adopted so that the new rules can be applied as of May 1 2016.

The act will now be considered by the European Parliament and the Council, both of which can raise their objections within two months.

EU customs handle 16 percent of world trade, or over two billion tonnes of goods a year with a value of 3,400 billion euros.

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