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The Union Customs Code: a recast of the Modernised Customs Code


The Union Customs Code (UCC) was adopted on 9 October 2013 as Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

It entered into force on 30.10.2013 and repealed the Regulation (EC) No 450/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 laying down the Community Customs Code (Modernised Customs Code pdfpdf) (OJ L 145, 4.6.2008, p.1).

Its substantive provisions will apply only on 1 May 2016, once the UCC-related Commission acts (Delegated and Implementing Acts) are adopted and in force and this no later than 1 May 2016.

The UCC is part of the modernisation of customs and will serve as the new framework Regulation on the rules and procedures for customs throughout the EU. The UCC and the related delegated and implementing acts shall:

  • streamline customs legislation and procedures
  • offer greater legal certainty and uniformity to businesses
  • increase clarity for customs officials throughout the EU
  • simplify customs rules and procedures and facilitate more efficient customs transactions in line with modern-day needs
  • complete the shift by Customs to a paperless and fully electronic environment
  • reinforce swifter customs procedures for compliant and trustworthy economic operators (Authorised Economic Operators)

Shaping of the provisions within the Acts is done, in line with the Articles 290 and 291 of the TFEU, through proper involvement of the Member States and the business community.

Their involvement started in January 2014 upon the submission of the draft UCC Delegated Actpdf (DA) and UCC Implementing Actpdf (IA) that are still under discussion.

The use of electronic data-processing techniques and electronic systems will support the application of the UCC. In order to support the development of the electronic systems, Commission Implementing Decision of 29 April 2014 establishing the Work Programme for the Union Customs Code has been adopted. A description of the electronic systems and the target dates for starting operations is attached as an annex to that Decision. The complete deployment of all of the electronic systems required by the UCC shall be carried out not beyond 31 December 2020. The application of certain legal provisions would then have to be postponed and replaced by transitional measures for the periods pending the availability of such systems.

The content of the Work Programme is closely linked to the multi-annual strategic plan referred to in Article 8(2) of Decision No 70/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 on a paperless environment for customs and tradepdfpdf

Until 1.5.2016 the Community Customs Code and its implementing provisions continue to apply.