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|dossier||COM(2018)259 - Amendment of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 laying down the Union Customs Code.|
1. CONTEXT OF THE PROPOSAL
• Reasons for and objectives of the proposal
Following the entry into force of the new substantial provisions of the Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council of 9 October 2013 laying down Union Customs Code 1 (UCC) in May 2016, the process of regular consultation with Member States and business has resulted in the identification of errors and technical anomalies that need to be corrected in order to ensure legal certainty and consistency. The European Commission has therefore prepared this proposal to amend the UCC with a view to correcting these technical errors and omissions, including the alignment of the UCC with an international agreement that was not in force at the time of adoption of the UCC, namely, the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The proposal also aims at addressing a request from Italy to include the municipality of Campione d'Italia and the Italian waters of Lake Lugano in the EU customs territory.
• Consistency with existing policy provisions in the policy area
The proposal aims at ensuring the proper application of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013, which is fully in line with existing policies and objectives relevant to the trade of goods brought into and out of the customs territory of the Union
• Consistency with other Union policies
The proposal aims at ensuring that the UCC is aligned with the international trade agreements signed by the EU. The element of the proposal that concerns the inclusion of the municipality of Campione d'Italia and the Italian waters of Lake Lugano in the customs territory of the Union is linked to the parallel amendments to Directives 2008/118/EC (the Excise Directive) and 2006/112/EC (the VAT Directive). These amendments should all apply as from the same date of 1 January 2019.
2. LEGAL BASIS, SUBSIDIARITY AND PROPORTIONALITY
• Legal basis
The legal basis is Articles 33, 114 and 207 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
• Subsidiarity (for non-exclusive competence)
The proposal falls under the exclusive competence of the EU according to Article 3(1)(a) and (e) TFEU. Member States cannot act individually in this area.
The proposal does not entail any new policy developments compared to the legislative act it intends to amend; it modifies a few provisions of that legislative act in order to ensure the proper application of other provisions of the same Regulation, to align the Regulation with an international agreement that entered into force after the adoption of the Regulation and to respond to a particular request of a Member State that has a limited effect.
• Choice of the instrument
As the Code is a legal act of the EU, it can only be amended by way of an equivalent legal act.
3. RESULTS OF EX-POST EVALUATIONS, STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATIONS AND IMPACT ASSESSMENTS
• Stakeholder consultations
This amendment does not alter the substance of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 so the consultation of interested parties held before the adoption of that Regulation is still valid.
Furthermore, the relevant amendments have been discussed with the Member States and with trade representatives in joint meetings of the Customs Expert Group and the Trade Contact Group, where consensus was reached on the substance of the present text. The Commission consulted the general public on the proposal via a Roadmap published on the Better Regulation portal 'Have Your Say' and has noted the feedback received.
• Impact assessment
This initiative does not require an impact assessment because it does not concern a policy choice. It simply involves making corrections to the UCC to i) amend some technical issues and anomalies that have arisen in the first two years of its application and ii) respond to a request by one Member State that two parts of its territory hitherto excluded should now be brought within the scope of the EU customs territory. Furthermore, it ensures coherence with other provisions of Regulation (EU) No 952/2013, which is itself a recast of Regulation (EC) N° 450/2008 for which the Commission conducted an impact assessment.
• Regulatory fitness and simplification
The proposal assists in the achievement of the objectives of the UCC. It makes some technical amendments to the Code so as to ensure that the Code successfully meets its objectives of improving the competitiveness of European businesses while also better protecting the financial and economic interests of the Union and the Member States and the safety and security of EU consumers.
4. BUDGETARY IMPLICATIONS
The amendments proposed do not have any direct budgetary implications but will facilitate the achievement of the Union customs objectives including the collection of own resources and trade facilitation.
5. OTHER ELEMENTS
• Implementation plans and monitoring, evaluation and reporting arrangements
The Commission will, by 2021, carry out an interim evaluation of the UCC legal framework and the electronic systems implemented by that date. It will launch a more comprehensive fitness check after 2025, once all the UCC electronic systems are in place, so as to determine whether there are gaps or errors in the Code that need to be addressed by a more comprehensive proposal for amendment. Given the current transitional phase of the UCC and these plans for future evaluations, no evaluation is deemed necessary in respect of this specific proposal.
• Detailed explanation of the specific provisions of the proposal
·Article 4, providing the definition of the customs territory of the EU, should be amended following a request from Italy to include the Italian municipality of Campione d'Italia and the Italian waters of Lake Lugano within its scope. The geographic location of the two territories as Italian exclaves within the territory of Switzerland has historically justified their exclusion from the EU customs territory but Italy considers this exclusion to be no longer necessary, in particular because otherwise Switzerland now wishes to include them within its customs territory. It is proposed that this amendment should apply from 1 January 2019.
·Article 34(9), which, under certain conditions allows the extended use of Binding Tariff Information (BTI) decisions that cease to be valid or are revoked, should be amended so that the possibility of extended use is also given in additional situations covered by Article 34(5) UCC, i.e. in situations where the BTI decision has been revoked because it does not conform to customs legislation or because the conditions laid down for the issuing of the BTI decision were not or are no longer fulfilled (e.g. as a result of bilateral negotiations between two Member States or of guidance on classification adopted at Union level).
·Article 124(h)(i) should be amended to add temporary storage to the list of cases where a customs debt (that arises due to not having complied with customs formalities) may be extinguished if there was no significant negative effect, no attempt at deception and the situation was subsequently regularised. The current exclusion of temporary storage is a mere oversight caused by the fact that temporary storage is not considered a customs procedure. The corresponding delegation of power to the Commission to supplement the provision should also be amended to include temporary storage.
·Article 129(2)(b) should be amended to clarify that, in cases where customs authorities have to invalidate an entry summary declaration because the non-Union goods covered by the declaration are not brought into the customs territory, the invalidation must happen once 200 days have elapsed since the declaration was lodged rather than 'within' the period of 200 days. The 200 days was designed as the period of time that declarants have to present the goods to customs following the lodging of the declaration.
·Article 139(5) should be amended to clarify that, in all cases where economic operators or carriers of goods have not submitted pre-arrival information concerning non-Union goods (in the form of 'entry summary declarations') before the actual arrival of the goods and their presentation to customs, a customs declarations or temporary storage declarations must contain the particulars that would have been included in entry summary declarations.
·Article 146(2)(b) should be amended to clarify that, in cases where customs authorities have to invalidate a temporary storage declaration due to non-presentation of the relevant goods, the invalidation must happen once 30 days have elapsed since the declaration was lodged rather than 'within' the period of 30 days. The 30 days was designed as period of time that declarants have to present the goods to customs following the lodging of the declaration.
·A new Article 260a should be proposed to provide total relief from import duty for goods that cannot benefit from the total relief laid down in Article 260 but have been repaired or altered under the outward processing procedure in a country with which the Union has concluded a preferential agreement (like CETA with Canada) providing for such relief.
·Article 272 (2)(b) and Article 275 (2)(b) should be amended to clarify that, in cases where customs authorities have to invalidate an exit summary declaration or re-export notification due to the non-export of the relevant goods, the invalidation must happen once 150 days have elapsed since the declaration or notification was lodged rather than 'within' the period of 150 days. The 150 days period was designed as the period of time that declarants have to bring the goods out of the EU customs territory before the declaration or notification is invalidated.