Taxation and customs union

Legislation related to the electronic customs initiative

The electronic customs initiative is essentially based on the following three pieces of legislation:

Electronic Customs Decision

As set out in the Decision on the paperless environment for customs and trade - 'Electronic Customs Decision' (Decision N° 70/2008/EC), the electronic customs initiative aims at establishing secure, interoperable electronic customs systems for the exchange of the data to:

  • Facilitate import and export procedures;
  • Reduce compliance and administrative costs;
  • Improve clearance times;
  • Coordinate the approach to the control of goods and application of the legislation;
  • Ensure proper collection of duties and charges;
  • Enable a seamless flow of data between the parties involved and allow re-use of data.

The Electronic Customs Decision details the interoperable systems to be introduced, deadlines for their establishment and responsibilities relating to the human, budgetary and technical resources of the Union and of the Member States.

The Electronic Customs Decision was evaluated in the course of year 2014: see for more information the final evaluation report and its annexes

Security and Safety Amendment to the Customs Code

Regulation (EC) 648/2005 and its implementing provisions requires pre-arrival and pre-departure information (in the form of summary declarations lodged before the goods are brought into or out of the Union customs territory) to be filed electronically and also envisages exchange and sharing of the information between the Member States administrations, when possible.

Provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code which provide for the EORI system (Economic Operators' Registration and Identification system) are provided for in Regulation (EC) No 312/2009 of the Commission of 16 April 2009.

Union Customs Code

The Union Customs Code (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. It entered into force on 30 October 2013 but its substantive provisions will enter into force only on 1 May 2016. In the meantime the Community Customs Code and its implementing provisions continue to apply.