Taxation and Customs Union

All news items


On 5 May 2020 the ESA-EU Customs Cooperation Committee adopted Decision No 1/2020 granting a derogation from the rules of origin with regard to 100 tonnes of salted snoek imported into the Union from 5 May 2020 to 4 May 2021 in accordance with Article 42(1) of Protocol 1 to the interim EPA. 


CLASS is the new single access point to different types of classification information of the goods that enter or leave the European Union


Solomon Islands has deposited its act of accession to the EU-Pacific EPA on 7 May 2020, becoming the 4th Pacific island State to the Economic Partnership Agreement, alongside Fiji, PNG and Samoa.


On 15 March 2021 the European Union will launch a new EU customs pre-arrival security and safety programme, supported by a large-scale information system called ICS2 (Import Control System 2).


Given the issues faced by the industry to tackle the current COVID-19 crisis, the European Commission has decided to publish a second call for applications for the selection of members of the CESOP Expert Group. This second call for applications will complement the first one and allow for more members to join the work of the Expert Group.


The European Commission has decided today to postpone the entry into force of two EU taxation measures to take account of the difficulties that businesses and Member States are facing at the moment with the Coronavirus crisis. First, the Commission has proposed to postpone the entry into application of the VAT e-commerce package by 6 months. These rules will apply as of 1 July 2021 instead of 1 January 2021, giving Member States and businesses more time to prepare for the new VAT e-commerce rules. 


On 3 March 2020, the European Commission published a survey to gather actors of the payment industry’s opinion on the implementation of the legislative package on the transmission and exchange of payment data in order to fight VAT fraud (CESOP). The deadline to answer the survey has been extended to 4 May 2020.

In addition, the first meeting of the CESOP expert group, that will assist the Commission in implementing the proposal, has also been postponed to 11 and 12 May 2020. The deadline to submit applications to be member of the CESOP Expert Group is 24 April 2020.


See “VAT Committee”.


On 3 April, the European Commission published a decision helping Member States affected by the coronavirus pandemic to temporarily suspend customs duties and VAT on protective equipment and medical devices.


On 14 January 2020, the EPA Committee adopted Decision No 1/2020 amending certain provisions of Protocol 1 (OJ L 93, 27 March 2020, p. 1-194). The amended Protocol 1 enters into force on 31 March 2020 and replaces in its entirety the current text.


The Explanatory Notes on the EU VAT changes in respect of call-off stock arrangements, chain transactions and the exemption for intra-Community supplies of goods (“2020 Quick Fixes”) are now available in 23 official EU languages.


On 27 March 2020, the European Commission published a call for applications for actors in the payment industry willing to be members of the expert group that will assist the Commission in implementing the legislative package on the transmission and exchange of payment data in order to fight VAT fraud (CESOP).


On 18 March 2019, the European Commission published a survey for actors in the payment industry in order to gather their views on the implementation of the legislative package on the transmission and exchange of payment data in order to fight VAT fraud.


On 14 February 2020, a call for applications for the selection of non-governmental members of the Platform for Tax Good Governance has been published. Applications must be sent by 31 March 2020 at the latest.


The Commission has published country reports analysing each Member State's key socio-economic challenges.


See “VAT Committee”


On 18 February, EU finance ministers updated the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. As part of the EU listing process, jurisdictions are assessed on tax transparency, fair taxation and real economic activity. Those that fall short are asked for a commitment to address deficiencies within a set deadline.


On 18 February 2020, the Council has approved new measures to transmit and exchange payment data in order to fight e-commerce VAT fraud.


New tax revenues data for 2018. This update also reviews and updates data from previous years.


The European Commission has conducted an evaluation of the functioning of Directive 2011/64/EU. The evaluation examined if the excise duty rates applied to manufactured tobacco have protected public health and ensured a proper functioning of the internal market. The evaluation shows that the current legislation has been working well in terms of predictability and stability of fiscal revenues for Member States. Directive 2011/64/EU has also provided a high degree of flexibility for Member States to implement their national fiscal policies regarding traditional tobacco products.


European Commission publishes annual report on how taxation can help meet our greatest challenges.


On 26 January, the EU celebrates International Customs Day.


Council Decision (EU) 2019/2196 of 19 December 2019 amending Decision 2013/755/EU on the association of the overseas countries and territories (OCTs) with the European Union (‘Overseas Association Decision’) has been published in the OJ on 30 December 2019.


EU VAT Forum has endorsed a report on prevention and solution of VAT double taxation dispute.


On 13 December 2019, the European Commission published a report on the progress achieved in the development of the electronic systems under the UCC since its entry into force on 1 May 2016. This report was submitted to the Council and the European Parliament.


On Tuesday, 10 December, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union hosted a ceremony in Brussels to honour the seven academic programmes which have earned the “EU Recognition for Customs academic programmes” in 2019.


The European Customs Data Model Version 5.1 (EUCDM) is available on the EUCDM website.


See “VAT Committee”


Outcome of the 9th Joint Committee meeting on the revision of the PEM Rules of Origin


Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Union, Pierre Moscovici is co-signing on the 26 November 2019 a €2 million grant contract with OECD partners today, in support of developing countries’ efforts to meet global standards in tax transparency and information exchange. The signing takes place in the margins of the 10th Anniversary Meeting of the Global Forum in Paris.


The Commission launches the 2020 cycle of the EU Recognition for Customs academic programmes (Bachelor’s, Master’s, and modules within those programmes).


The Council found North Macedonia compliants with all its commitments and removed it from the EU list completely. Belize moved from the black list to the grey list.


The latest version is now available as Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1776 in EU Official Journal L 280 of 31 October 2019. This version applies from 1 January 2020.


Taxation Paper 76 - "Estimating International Tax evasion by individuals"


The European Commission’s Directorate General for Taxation and Customs (DG TAXUD) is organising on 6 December 2019 an event on “VAT in the Digital Age” in Brussels, Belgium. This event will bring together stakeholders working in the field of Value Added Tax (VAT) to reflect on the opportunities and challenges that new technologies bring in the area of VAT.


The Council found United Arab Emirates, Albania, Costa Rica, Serbia, Switzerland and Mauritus compliant with all its commitments and removed them from the EU list completely. Marshall Islands moved from the black list to the grey list.


The European Customs Data Model Version 5.0 (EUCDM) is available on the EUCDM website. This version takes account of the changes that have been introduced by the latest amendment to the UCC Implementing Regulation that was prepared to enable Member States to comply with new VAT rules for e-commerce and new rules to fight VAT fraud.


On 1 October 2019, the European Commission has launched the EU Customs Trader Portal, an electronic single point-of-access for a number of EU customs procedures such as decisions on Binding Tariff Information and applications for Authorised Economic Operator status.


Fake and potentially dangerous goods worth nearly €740 million stopped at EU customs in 2018.


Read the "Outcomes Statement" of the first Plenary meeting in Helsinki (Finland).


EU tax transparency rules on the automatic exchange of information between Member States are delivering added-value when it comes to countries’ ability to crack down on tax avoidance, according to an evaluation published on 16 September 2019 by the Commission. 


EU rules on energy taxation no longer deliver the same positive contribution as when they first came into force in 2003, according to a new report published by Commission services on 12 September 2019. 


As of 1 October 2019, applications for "Authorised Economic Operator" status (AEO) will have to be made electronically through the EU trader portal. 


The EU VAT Mini One Stop Shop or VAT MOSS is the system for the collection and transmitting of VAT for telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services (TBE services) supplied to final consumers across the 28 EU countries.


EU countries lost €137 billion in VAT revenues in 2017


Take part in the public consultation on Tax Breaks for rum produced in French overseas territories


The Commission published the statistics on pending Mutual Agreement Procedures (MAPs) and Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs).


As of 19 July 2019, a new version of the European Union Customs Data Model (EUCDM) web-publication is live and accessible for the whole world! EUCDM 4.0 reflects all the recent changes in the customs legislation which affects the data requirements. The new version now also contains the provisions for the low value consignment data-set. By using the web-publication of the EUCDM all interested parties can see the legal provisions of the UCC DA and UCC IA in a reader-friendly, structured way, thus facilitating the use of information. 


An updated list of EU VAT Cross-Border Rulings (EU CBR) is available. The pilot project carried out by 18 participating Member States helps businesses to get more legal certainty about their VAT obligations when envisaging cross-border transactions in the EU.


Following an amendment to the Union Customs Code Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446, it will be possible from 1 January 2021 to declare goods up to 150 € using a customs declaration that requires 3 times less data than a standard declaration. 


Today, the EU published new rules allowing the EU to impose anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures in case of unfair trade in goods brought to the continental shelf or the exclusive economic zones of EU Member States. 


On 1 July representatives of the European Union and Hong Kong Customs met to discuss the state of play and next steps of our bilateral customs cooperation. This was the eleventh meeting of the “Joint Customs Cooperation Committee” under the bilateral Customs Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement signed in 1999. Discussions focused on the implementation of our Action Plan on the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, the possible prospects for the mutual recognition of Authorised Economic Operators, the fight against fraud and single window. 


New EU rules come into force today to ensure quicker and more effective resolution of tax disputes between Member States, making life easier and offering much more tax certainty for businesses and individuals experiencing double taxation issues.


The European Commission’s taxation trends report shows tax revenues from environmental and energy taxes remained stable in the EU over the last decade according to a new report on taxation trends published by the Commission today. 


On 27 June 2019, a call for applications for the selection of members of the VAT Expert group was published. Applications must be sent by 31 July 2019 at the latest.


On the 26th of June representatives of the European Union and China met to take stock of our bilateral customs cooperation and to identify ways of improving it further. This was the tenth meeting of the “Joint Customs Cooperation Committee”. Discussions focused on ensuring the safety and security of our bilateral trade, while acting against illegal commerce (counterfeit and pirated products, waste) and fighting financial fraud. These actions go hand-in-hand with providing facilitation for legitimate trade. The increasing importance of e-commerce also featured in the discussions.


On the 26th of June representatives of the European Union and Japan met to discuss Customs matters related to the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. It was the ninth meeting of the “Joint Customs Cooperation Committee” and the first meeting of the “Committee on Rules of Origin and Customs Related Matters”. 


The Council found Dominica compliant with all its commitments and removed it from the EU list completely.


The European Commission has launched an online survey targeting users of its communication channels for EU tax information. The Commission enquires about the user’s experiences with the “Taxes in Europe Database”, the “Taxation Trends Report”, the “Tax Policies in the EU” Survey and the “Taxation Papers” series.


See “VAT Committee”


On 17 May 2019 the EU Council adopted and published a revised EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. Aruba was completely delisted and two jurisdictions, Bermuda and Belize, were removed from the black list and added to Annex I of the list (jurisdictions which have committed to improvements on a number of criteria).


Commission publishes today a study on domestic and cross border intra-EU VAT refunds 


Commission proposes tax exemption measures to facilitate common defence efforts in the context of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)


The first meeting of the Joint Committee under the Agreement between the EU and Norway on administrative cooperation, combating fraud and recovery of claims in the field of value added tax took place on 10 April 2019 in Brussels.


In March 2019, the Joint Transfer Pricing Forum agreed a Report on the application of the profit split method within the EU. The report clarifies key concepts, under which conditions to use the method and how to split the profit.


Commission publishes new consolidated version of Explanatory Notes to Combined Nomenclature 


Application to track goods under excise duty suspension via an Administrative Reference Code.


The Commission launched the “EU Customs Certificate of Recognition initiative for academic customs study programmes" 


On 12 March 2019 the EU Council adopted and published a revised EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.
10 new jurisdictions were included in the list.


Commission intensifies “no-deal” customs preparedness outreach to EU businesses


Entry into force of the Agreement between the EU, Switzerland and Norway on cumulation of origin in the framework of the Generalised System of Preferences


International Customs Day 2019 takes place tomorrow


Commission launches debate on reforming decision-making for areas of EU taxation policy, which currently requires unanimity among Member States.


See “VAT Committee”


European Commission publishes its annual report on the performance of EU Member States' tax systems.


Maintenance of the suspension of autonomous duty rate of jet fuel


Commission presented first report on automatic exchange of tax information to prevent tax evasion.


New details on rules for e-commerce presented, including a new role for online marketplaces in the fight against tax fraud.


The Council found Andorra and San Marino compliant with all its commitments.


Total number of BTI decisions registered in the EBTI-3 system reaches 1 000 000


Estimation methodologies on Missing Trader Intra Community (MTIC) fraud


One country removed from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions


Are you a talented and motivated customs or taxation specialist? Apply now to join the EU institutions!


Commission commits €5 million to support African customs authorities in implementing global rules and facilitating trade.


Member States reach agreement on much-needed improvements to how Value Added Tax (VAT) works in the EU.


Liechtenstein and Peru meet commitments, Palau removed from list of uncooperative jurisdictions


EU customs seized over 31 million fake goods at EU borders in 2017


EU Member States still losing almost €150 billion in revenues according to new figures


Follow-up of the Action Plan on VAT: the Commission services have put together a Working Document which incorporates into the VAT Directive the text of Commission proposal COM(2018)329 with the technical amendments for a definitive VAT system


See “VAT Committee”


The Commission has welcomed the political agreement reached by EU Member States today on new tools to close loopholes in the EU's Value Added Tax (VAT) system.


Tax revenues as a percentage of GDP grew slightly in 2016, according to new Commission study


For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission proposes to almost triple funding for migration and border management to €34.9 billion, as compared to €13 billion in the previous period.


Boosting cooperation between tax and customs authorities for a safer and more prosperous EU


Watch the event live online


On 25 May 2018, the Commission proposed a series of new rules on excise duties, covering both the general arrangements, and the excise duties on alcohol.


Economic and Financial Affairs Council of 25 May 2018


Commission proposes update of rules governing alcohol excise duties


Two countries removed from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions


Council adopts transparency rules for tax intermediaries


Commission proposes final technical measures to create a future fraud-proof EU VAT system


Commission welcomes agreement on its proposal to tackle illicit cash flows


New agreement between EU and New Zealand to create a more secure and trade-friendly environment


New guidelines on VAT published - See “VAT Committee”


The new MOSS Portal provides comprehensive and easily accessible information on VAT on telecom, broadcasting and e-services and explains how the MOSS (Mini One-Stop Shop) can be used to declare and pay VAT on these services.


Fair Taxation Seminar in Riga, Latvia – on 19 April


Commission proposes new measures to ensure that all companies pay fair tax in the EU


Economic and Financial Affairs Council, 13/03/2018


Three jurisdictions removed, three added to EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions


Commission welcomes adoption of far-reaching new transparency rules for tax advisers in the EU


Commission requests the UK to align rules regarding the VAT treatment of certain UK commodity markets


Upgrade of the database for the Registration of Economic Operators (EORI2)


Amendment of the UCC


Impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in the area of customs and taxation


26 January is International Customs Day! Read the statement by Stephen Quest, EU Commission's Director General for Taxation and Customs Union


January infringements package: key decisions


Eight jurisdictions removed from EU list


Commission report on the implementation of the Union Customs Code


Proposals for more flexibility on VAT rates and less red tape for small businesses


Commission publishes report on excise duty applied to manufactured tobacco


Commission reports on efficiency of administrative cooperation between tax authorities


Scammers using the name of the European Commission


Council adopts conclusions on the taxation of profits in the digital economy


New portal launched to teach young Europeans about tax issues


Euro area recommendation to fight aggressive tax planning


Additional tax revenues could outweigh the costs of replacing the current Euromarker.


New rules should clamp down on the illegal import and trafficking of cultural goods, often linked to terrorist financing and other criminal activity.


Two infringement cases on Taxation matters, involving Bulgaria, Cyprus, Portugal and France.


Watch the live webstream online.


See the speech of Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis at the plenary session of the European Parliament.


Participate in the study.


Some simple steps to complete to benefit from preferential tariffs.


A press release on the package of measures is available here.


See “VAT Committee”


The report and its associated tables can be downloaded here.


See the taxation case (involving Poland).


For more information see our dedicated web page with the fact sheet.


See the two taxation cases (involving Austria).


Commission will present  measures to enhance tax transparency and fight tax evasion/ tax avoidance. Formal adoption of 2016 country-specific recommendations is expected.


Agenda includes Corporate tax avoidance, the Financial transaction tax and VAT


…also available from this home page (please click on the icon top right).


The EU_CDM is based on WCO standards and provides an instrument with UCC data requirements for future Customs Systems


A study on a portal's implications is ongoing. The survey asks potential users about the requirements/prioritisation of information points and functionalities.


Click on "list of VAT cross-border rulings".