The Union Customs Code (UCC) was adopted in 2013, replacing the Community Customs Code, and its substantive provisions apply from 2016. In addition to the UCC, the European Commission (EC) published delegated and implementing regulations on the actual procedural changes. These are included in Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/2446, Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/341, and the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2447.
In April 2016, the EC published an implementing decision (2016/578) on the work program relating to the development and deployment of the electronic systems of the UCC. The EC continues to evaluate the timeline by which the EU-wide integration of the customs IT system can be implemented. The EU Common Customs Tariff database is located at TARIC.
Most customs duties and value-added tax are expressed as a percentage of the value of goods being declared for importation. The EU has a standard set of rules for establishing the goods’ value, which will then serve for calculating the customs duty. The value of imported goods is one of three “elements of taxation” that provides the basis for assessment of the customs debt (the amount of customs duty that has to be paid). The other two elements are the origin of the goods and the customs tariff.
Given the volume of EU imports every year, it is important that the value of such commerce is accurately measured for the purposes of economic and commercial policy analysis; application of commercial policy measures; proper collection of import duties and taxes; and import and export statistics.