The Union Customs Code (UCC) is just six months away from coming into force and will have a considerable impact on businesses importing into, or exporting from, the European Union (EU).

The pending regulations propose imposing an obligation on traders to provide financial guarantees for the use of temporary storage, an obligation, which can be waived, but only on the basis of a specific authorization to be granted by EU Member States.
“It currently appears that the appropriate systems will not be in place to provide, handle, and maintain those authorizations,” according to TIACA Secretary General Doug Brittin, pictured right.

“It looks as if it will be virtually impossible to apply for a new guarantee or a waiver in time.

“Discussions between Member States, Trade and Commission are still ongoing on how to resolve the situation in a pragmatic manner, and TIACA is closely engaged in that process.”
With these, and other fine details still under discussion ahead of the UCC due to come into force in May 2016, many shippers and forwarders, especially smaller operators, are still unsure what impact the new regulations will have on the supply chain.

The Commission has produced an EU Customs Competency Framework accessible on line here, and Customs authorities in individual Member States are working hard to keep the trading community up to date with the evolving regulations.

But it is clear that, despite its long gestation, EU Member States will not be ready to implement the UCC in its entirety from next May and so transitional regulations will apply.

“Some areas have been agreed only recently, and only high level principles are yet defined, ” said Christophe Eggers, Manager of Supply Chain Compliance and Facilitation at La Poste.

“It is going to be important to stay as up to date as possible, and TIACA will be playing its part, both at discussion level with the regulators, and by keeping members in touch with changes as they come up,” added Brittin.

The next issue of TIACA Times will take a more in depth look at the UCC, and we will also be featuring a dedicated workshop at next year’s Air Cargo Forum in Paris on October 26th, bringing together regulators and industry experts in a unique learning environment.