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The single administrative document (SAD)

This page aims at providing information on the single administrative document, which is the documentary basis for customs declarations in the EU and in Switzerland , Norway and Iceland.

The forms

The SAD formxls(748 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  is composed of a set of eight copies which have a number of functions (Morepdf(58 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  ).

The SAD reform

Introduced in 1988, SAD legislation needed to take full account of today's environment and adapt with the evolution that occurred since its inception. Regulation 2286/2003pdf does just that by introducing a radical modernization of data collection on EU customs declarations.

These legislative changes translate into an overall reduction of data requirements by 26% and by 43 % of the elements that Member States can decide to require on a national basis ("optional" elements). These amount to 28 and 45 % for export and to 24 and 41 % for release for free circulation respectively.

The amount of data non-coded at EU level has dropped by 60 to 75 % according to the procedure concerned.

More on data harmonisation and coding may be found in the following documents: presentation on SADpdf(27 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  , table of SAD boxespdf(138 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  , legend tablepdf(60 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  , notes to tablepdf(139 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  .

More information on data collected and codes used by Member States on a national basis for procedures, certificates, documents and authorizations, additional information and tax types ; In the run up for reform implementation, information will be uploaded as soon as Member States make it available.

On the implementation of regulation 2286/03, see the Summary of Member States programmespdf(22 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  .

The guidelines to ensure uniform implementation and a common understanding of the legislation concerning the SAD have been prepared.

Territorial scope

  • In the EU, the single administrative document is used within the framework of trade with third countries and for the movement of non-EU goods within the EU.
  • Following the conclusion, in 1987, of the Convention on the simplification of formalities in trade in goodspdf(353 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  , it also applies to the territories of the EFTA countries (Switzerland , Norway and Iceland), to Croatia (from 1 July 2012) and to trade between these countries and the EU. Turkey plans to join later in 2012.
  • Finally, it remains applicable in certain extremely limited cases of movement of EU goods inside the EU (Possible individual measures for the period of transition following the accession of new Member States on 1 May 2004, trade with parts of the customs territory of the EU which are not part of the fiscal territory of the Member States (Canary Islands, French overseas Departments, Channel Islands, Å land Islands)).

Characterictics

The SAD is aimed at ensuring openness in national administrative requirements, rationalize and reduce administrative documentation, reduce the amount of requested information and standardize and harmonize data. Morepdf(78 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 

Procedures covered

The document covers the placement of any goods under any customs procedure (Export, import, transit where the new computerised transit system (NCTS) is not yet used, warehouses, temporary import, inward and outward processing, etc.) whatever the mode of transport used.

Evolution - Prospects

  1. Designed originally as a first step towards the abolition of the formalities in intra-EU trade, the SAD has, within the framework of the completion of the internal market, been virtually eliminated from intra-EU trade. On the other hand, it is still used for the movement of non-EU goods inside the EU. This situation should be maintained in the future.
  2. The completion of the internal market on 1 January 1993 has not affected the use of the SAD for non-EU trade (imports and exports) and this situation should continue.
  3. EFTA countries have been using the SAD since its introduction in 1988.
    In this context, the EU and the EFTA countries have moved towards "opening" the conventions on transit and simplifications of formalities in trade in goodspdf(353 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  . These modifications set up a mechanism which, under certain conditions, allows third countries to become contracting parties to the conventions.
    In this respect, four countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) have been using this possibility before becoming Members of the EU on 1 May 2004.
    Other countries have shown interest in the form and some have introduced it on a national basis.
    It should also be pointed out that a number of countries use, within the scope of the sydonia/asycuda program, forms which are based on the SAD.
  4. However, all this obviously does not prejudice the development of computerized procedures which gradually tend to reduce the use of paper as a medium. On the contrary, the fundamental elements of the document, as well as the codes set up to facilitate the transmission of the information that they represent, are destined to remain and should be able to play their role in future work on the simplification of formalities.

Legal texts

EU texts

The texts currently applicable at EU level are:

  • Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2913/92pdf, of 12 October 1992 , establishing the Community Customs Code, (see Article 62).
  • Commission Regulation (EEC) No. 2454/93pdf Choose translations of the previous link  , of 2 July 1993 , laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code, (See Articles 205 and following and annexes 31 to 38).
  • Commission Regulation (EC) 2286/2003pdf, of 18 December 2003 amending Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code (See Articles 1, 2 and 3 and Annex III). This Regulation enters into force on 1.1.2006. (see SAD reform).
  • The list of code combinations that can be used for box 36 of the Single Administrative Document was initially published on 13/12/2006 in the Official Journal of the European Unionpdf. A revised versionpdf(283 kB) of this table is now available

With the EFTA countries

EFTA - EEC Convention on the simplification of formalities in trade in goodspdf(353 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  .

It should be noted that a convention on a common transit procedure was concluded between the EEC and the EFTA. In the absence of such a procedure, it would have been impossible to use the SAD as a transit document to cover the goods which move between the EU and these countries.