The Customs Expert Group of the European Commission’s DG TAXUD on ‘Import and Export formalities’ met on 16 March 2022. The minutes of the meeting have been released on 25 April 2022.

Several topics were discussed, notably the following subjects:

  • The new guidance on the Interpretation of Article 173 of the Union Customs Code (UCC) on the amendment of the customs declarations: in this guidance, it will be reminded that the customs declaration should reflect the objective facts at the moment of its acceptance, and declarants should be allowed to amend its data elements according to them. In any case, the amendment of a customs declaration shall remain an option for the declarant and the latter cannot be forced to do so by the customs authorities.
  • The future guidance on ship supplies (important for cruise maritime companies): the European Commission recalls that, from a customs point of view, the term “ship supplies” includes namely fuels, foodstuffs, goods intended for sale on board and to be incorporated into ships, but also those for use at sales counters and bunkering. The destination of the vessel is not relevant.
  • The guidance with respect to the end of the temporary storage and the respective records for the goods concerned: The objective was to clarify the moment when the temporary storage actually ends, which takes place at the time of the acceptance of the subsequent customs declaration placing goods under a customs procedure. The view of the Customs Expert Group is to consider that the acceptance of the customs declaration should correspond to the moment when the customs declaration has been lodged, not when the goods has been placed under the customs procedure concerned.
  • The use of the simplification of the Entry Into Declarant’s Records (EIDR) and the (re)-export of excise product: according to the EU excise legislation, EIDR is not permissible when excise products are exported outside the EU (except in a few cases). However, when excise goods are re-exported, the use of EIDR is possible since it means that the excise goods had been placed in a customs suspensive procedure and therefore have not the status of Union goods. The guidance document on ‘Simplifications’ will clarify this point and be amended in that sense.
  • The potential difficulties Member States face when dealing with the exportation of dual-use items: The definition of exporter in the new Dual-Item Regulations (Regulation 2021/821) has been amended to be very close to the one set forth in the UCC, but customs authorities still face problems to deal with export arrangements and on how to apply controls at export. DG TAXUD and DG TRADE will seek further alignments with competent authorities to list a series of business cases and propose solutions to address them.
  • During the meeting, some Member States highlighted that there was a significant number of open export movements due to Brexit, and that they were facing difficulties to close them (time-consuming procedure, IT capacity of the customs clearance system). The European Commission will initiate an action plan to increase customs presence on exit, enhance IT systems, and launch information campaigns for traders.