On 29 September 2016, the Official Journal published a document entitled, Council conclusions on the follow up of the Union Customs Code, which invites the Commission and Member States to continue the work in keeping the ‘UCC package’ up to date, that is, modern, agile and able to cope with challenges for customs. This entails, but is not limited to:

  • further developing effective simplifications and modernization, such as centralised clearance and self-assessment, as well as a modern approach to for instance single window and cooperation between customs and other government
  • enhancing benefits for Authorised Economic Operators;
  • ensuring the best alignment of provisions and procedures in customs and other policy areas, including efficient and effective risk management in the wider customs area;
  • improving transparency in the development of IT systems, in particular in relation to planning, by finding flexible approaches, funding, and cost-efficiency;
  • having clear provisions in the basic legislative text and a common view on the use of delegated acts, implementing acts and guidance. Guidance should be based on best practices to help the implementation by Member States, and cannot ex
  • promoting the use of UCC-based provisions, in e.g. Free Trade Agreements and World Customs Organization instruments.

When considering further work, the following should be taken into account:

  • ensuring a proper balance between controls and trade facilitation for legitimate trade by Member States, and by the Commission in particular, when developing new legislative proposals;
  • ensuring that adequate attention is given to realistic timelines, costs, and impact on customs and trade, based on comprehensive business cases and, when possible, pilot projects;
  • ensuring timely and optimal involvement of trade;
    data protection legislation and the respective competences of the Union and the Member States.
  • to continue cooperation in a pro-active way on strategic topics at Council level, in order to obtain the maximum from the post-Lisbon institutional framework. This remains essential in securing a viable customs union.