The Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on a single window for customs which sets the appropriate conditions for digital collaboration between customs and partner competent authorities. The aim is to make international trade easier, shorten customs clearance times and reduce the risk of fraud. It will also help reduce the administrative burden for traders.
Efficient customs clearance and controls are essential to allow trade to flow smoothly while also protecting EU citizens, businesses and the environment. Once fully implemented, businesses will no longer have to submit documents to several authorities through different portals. The single window environment will allow customs and other authorities to automatically verify that the goods in question comply with EU requirements and that the necessary formalities have been completed.
More than 60 non-customs EU acts as well as national non-customs legislation in areas such as health and safety, the environment, agriculture, fisheries, international heritage and market surveillance need to be enforced at external borders. This requires additional documents on top of customs declarations and affects hundreds of millions movements of goods each year.
Member states’ authorities involved in goods clearance at the EU’s external borders will be able to access and exchange electronic information submitted by traders. The single window environment for customs will also support the automated verification of non-customs formalities for goods entering or leaving the EU. This means that manual documentary controls to verify certain non-customs formalities will no longer be necessary.
The new rules are expected to boost the smooth flow of cross-border trade and will help reduce the administrative burden for traders, particularly by saving time and making clearance simpler and more automated.
The provisional agreement reached today is subject to approval by the Council and the European Parliament before going through the formal adoption procedure.
More information: European Council – Press release