On December 6, 2008, Regulation (EC) 1192/2008 was published, amending the implementing Regulation establishing the Community Customs Code. This Regulation is also referred to as the “SASP-Regulation” (Single Authorization for Simplified Procedures). The Regulation inter alia contains new provisions/criteria for the licenses simplified declaration and local clearance procedure. Single authorization means an authorization involving customs administrations in more than one Member State for one of the following procedures:

  • the simplified declaration procedure (per article 76(1) of the Code); or
  • the local clearance procedure (per article 76(1) of the Code); or
  • customs procedures with economic impact (per article 84(1)(b) of the Code); or
  • end use (per article 21(1) of the Code).

Article 2 of said Regulation states that by January 1, 2012, customs authorities shall carry out a reassessment of authorizations for the simplified declaration or the local clearance procedure that have been granted before January 1, 2009. New authorizations will need to be issued. To ensure common practice throughout the European Union (EU), these criteria will apply “EU-wide.” In practice, the above means that new customs licenses are issued in accordance with the new criteria and existing licenses need to be re-evaluated — based on the new criteria — before January 1, 2012. If a license holder does not meet the new conditions/criteria, the competent customs authorities will revoke the customs license.

Basically, the reassessment of existing customs licenses takes place based on the AEO Guidelines, as published by the European Commission. For this purpose, the criteria that apply for the “AEO-C” status (i.e., AEO Customs Simplifications) will be leading. The reassessment process may vary per Member State. In the Netherlands, the customs authorities will base their analysis on a self-assessment carried out by the license holder.

Previous editions of this Alert discussed the AEO-concept (Authorized Economic Operator) in detail. Since the introduction of this concept, the benefits of being an AEO-certified company are rapidly increasing. If a company is already in possession of an AEO certificate, the changes outlined above will have no effect. Given the fact that a company has obtained the AEO-status automatically means that the new criteria are satisfied. For companies that are not (yet) in possession of an AEO-certificate, the re-evaluation process could be seen as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Since the AEO criteria are the basis of the reassessment process, efforts and resources could be efficiently combined to achieve AEO status.

Note that the reassessment process should be completed no later than December 31, 2011. As the EU customs authorities need some time to carry out their reassessment, it is recommended that relevant documentation be submitted no later than July 1 of this year. Questions about the potential impact of the above, including requests for assistance in the reassessment process and/or the AEO certification process, can be directed to your Greenberg Traurig liaison.