The amendment to the Union Customs Code (UCC) received approval on May 17, 2023 with three key goals: streamlining customs procedures using Artificial Intelligence (AI), standardizing risk management in the EU, and improving tax collection, especially in electronic commerce.
To achieve this, the European Commission proposes several lines of action. First, the creation of an EU Customs Data Hub, powered by AI, which will act as a “one-stop shop” for customs procedures. This center will be fully operational between 2028 and 2038. In addition, an evolution of the figure of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) towards the Trust and Check Trader is proposed, with strict access requirements to guarantee the reliability of the operator. These will be able to benefit from a more flexible system in terms of customs interventions and tariff payments.
Secondly, the establishment of a single EU Customs Authority is planned for 2028. This decentralized entity will unify the resources and knowledge of the Member States and the Commission, and will focus on intelligent risk assessment with data from the EU. Customs Data Hub.
In addition, it seeks to reform the regulatory framework for electronic commerce. Among the proposed measures, it is contemplated to transfer responsibility for the payment of duties and taxes to large electronic commerce platforms, thus freeing consumers from additional procedures and costs. The elimination of the tariff exemption of 150 euros is also proposed, offering instead a more simplified tariff calculation for small shipments.
It should be noted that the project is still in an early phase and could undergo significant changes before its final approval. There are concerns, especially among small and medium-sized businesses, about how they will fit into the new framework proposed by the European Commission.