Industry leaders meeting at a conference in Brussels Wednesday said the European Union’s new Unified Customs Code must still be tweaked to reflect modern ways of business and communication.
The European Union needs to better coordinate border management among member states, and integrate customs policy with economic and trade policy to enhance economic competitiveness in the region, industry leaders meeting at a conference in Brussels said Wednesday.
The forum took a look at the modernized Union Customs Code that entered into force in May and how it could be improved in coming years, especially the new electronic customs system needed to implement elements of the UCC by 2020. The new customs code is intended to balance trade facilitation with safety and security requirements so that businesses are not burdened.
The event was organized by the American Chamber of Commerce EU, EuroCommerce, the European Express Association, the Foreign Trade Association, the International Air Transport Association, the World Shipping Council (ocean freight) and CLECAT (the European Association for Forwarding, Transport Logistics and Customs Services).
“Making sure that customs procedures work smoothly and efficiently, by taking account of their key role in the competitiveness of our economies will make a significant contribution to growth and jobs in Europe and around the world,” Christian Verschueren, director-general of EuroCommerce, said in opening remarks, according to a joint press statement.
The conference called on EU policy makers to consider:
• Strategic cross-government, coordination for EU customs policy development and delivery;
• Renewed efforts to rationalize, simplify and align EU customs procedures, data requirements and IT processes (These measures need to be more closely based on global standards such as the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards in order to reflect the global nature of Europe’s trade);
• The implementation in the EU of IT systems with harmonized functional and technical specifications for receiving and reusing EU wide harmonized data, since fragmented approach in the implementation of such systems cannot work;
• The creation of new benefits for compliant operators including Authorized Economic Operators;
• Further improvements to centralized customs clearance, concrete support for the needs of small and medium sized enterprises to ensure they can maximize the benefits of the new UCC;
• And ensuring that customs treatment does not lead to market and competitive distortions, and improving customs processes as essential elements for enhanced trade competiveness.