To make international trade easier, shorten customs clearance times and reduce the risk of fraud, the EU decided to create a single window for customs. Today the Council adopted new rules which set the appropriate conditions for digital collaboration between customs and partner competent authorities.
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.
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.
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.
Background and next steps
The Commission came forward with the proposal establishing the EU single window environment for customs and amending regulation (EU) No 952/2013 on 29 October 2020. The Council agreed its negotiating mandate on 15 December 2021. Negotiations between the co-legislators ended in a provisional agreement on 19 May 2022. Today’s adoption of the final text means that this regulation can now be signed at the European Parliament’s November II plenary and then be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.