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Provisions implementing the Community Customs Code

The adoption of the Community Customs Code amended, consolidated and simplified customs legislation, combining it in a single legal instrument. It was also necessary to bring together in a single regulation the Customs Code implementing provisions which, prior to the regulation’s entry into force, were scattered among a large number of legal instruments. In addition to this simplification, the implementing provisions were also clarified and adjusted to changes in the customs legislation and their scope was extended.

ACT

Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93 of 2 July 1993 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code.

SUMMARY

This regulation contains the implementing provisions for the Community Customs Code. It combines the implementing provisions for European customs law in a single document. It covers:

  • general implementing provisions;
  • customs-approved treatments or uses;
  • privileged operations;
  • customs debt and certain controls.

GENERAL IMPLEMENTING PROVISIONS

These general provisions cover areas such as binding information, the origin of goods, their value and customs declarations.

Binding information

Binding information refers to a tariff information (BTI) or an origin information (BOI):

  • a BTI is written information issued by European Union (EU) customs authorities concerning the classification of goods in the Combined Nomenclature or a nomenclature derived from it such as the TARIC;
  • a BOI is written information issued by EU’s customs authorities concerning the preferential or non-preferential origin of specific goods to be imported or exported.

A BOI request is sent either to the customs authorities in the EU country in which the information is to be used, or to the customs authorities in the EU country in which the requester is established. Applicants for BOIs must be notified within a specific time frame.

A BTI request is made using an application form corresponding to the model set out in the regulation.

Origin of goods

The regulation sets out the criteria for conferring on products the origin of the country where they were manufactured. This covers two types of origin for goods:

  • non-preferential origin;
  • preferential origin.

For goods of non-preferential origin, it specifies the working or processing needed to satisfy the criteria set out in the Customs Code. This confers on such products the origin of the country where they were worked or processed. The Customs Code lays down that goods whose production involves two or more countries originate in the country where the last substantial processing or working took place.

For preferential origin, the regulation sets out the conditions under which goods may acquire an origin that makes them eligible for preferential tariff measures. These preferential tariff measures are adopted unilaterally by the EU for certain countries or territories (developing countries, via the generalised system of preferences (GSP), or countries and territories of the Western Balkans). To be granted such a preferential origin, a product must be wholly obtained in the beneficiary country, or result from sufficient processing of goods imported from a third country. The regulation also sets out the criteria for sufficient processing for the various product categories, and the procedures that must be respected.

Customs value

The source of the legislation on customs valuation is the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement on customs valuation. This agreement was transposed into the Community Customs Code and its implementing provisions. The main goal of customs evaluation is the application of the Community customs tariff. Customs evaluation is used for calculating customs duties, and has an impact on value added tax (VAT), statistics and the implementation of trade policy. The customs value of imported goods is their transaction value, i.e. the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to the customs territory of the Community. When that price cannot be determined, customs value is calculated according to a sequence of various criteria.

Entry of goods into the customs territory

Goods may be examined or samples may be taken from them once they have entered the customs territory of the Community. Permission to examine goods is granted to the person empowered to assign the goods a customs-approved treatment or use at his oral request. The taking of samples may be authorised only at the written request of the person concerned.

Customs declaration

The regulation sets out provisions that concern customs declarations made usually:

  • in writing, particularly regarding the forms to use, the information required and the accompanying documents;
  • by computer;
  • orally.

Simplified procedures

Simplified procedures apply to the release for free circulation, declarations for a customs procedure with economic impact (such as customs warehousing, processing procedures, processing under customs control and the temporary importation procedure) and export declarations.

CUSTOMS-APPROVED TREATMENT OR USE

The provisions covering customs-approved treatment or use mainly cover:

  • release for free circulation;
  • the customs status of goods and transit;
  • customs procedures with economic impact;
  • implementing provisions for the export of goods and their transport out of the customs territory of the Community.

Customs status of goods

All goods on the customs territory of the Community are considered Community goods.

The following are not considered to be Community goods:

  • non-Community goods brought into the customs territory of the Community which have been subject to customs supervision from the time of their entry;
  • goods in temporary storage or in a free zone or free warehouse;
  • goods placed under a suspensive procedure.

If goods are not considered to be Community goods, their Community status can only be established if they are:

  • brought from another EU country without crossing the territory of a non-EU country on the way;
  • brought from another EU country through the territory of a non-EU country and carried under cover of a single transport document;
  • brought from another EU country and transhipped in a non-EU country on a means of transport other than that onto which they were initially loaded, with a single transport document from the EU country which can be consulted.

Transit

The external transit procedure governs movement on the customs territory of the Community. It applies:

  • to non-Community goods with suspension of payment of customs duties and other import taxes;
  • to Community goods in certain instances set out in the legislation.

The internal transit procedure maintains the Community status of goods when, between their point of departure and arrival inside the EU, they are obliged to pass through a non-EU country.

Transit may be carried out using the procedures set out in the legislation, most importantly Community transit and the TIR procedure.

Customs procedures with economic impact

These arrangements allow certain economic activities to be carried out without incurring customs duties, and thus to attract and maintain economic activities in the EU. They enable, for example, the storage of non-Community goods on the customs territory of the Community or the import of raw materials with a view to further processing and subsequent re-exportation. The different arrangements are:

  • customs warehousing;
  • inward processing;
  • processing under customs control;
  • the temporary importation procedure (this governs the conditions for total relief from import duties on certain special-purpose goods);
  • outward processing.

Export

The export procedure allows Community goods to leave the customs territory of the Community. Other than goods undergoing outward processing or subject to a transit procedure, all Community goods leaving the customs territory are subject to the export procedure.

The exporter is the person on whose behalf the declaration is made and who, when it is accepted, is the owner of the goods in question or has a similar right of disposal over them. Where ownership or a similar right of disposal over the goods belongs to a person who is established outside the EU, the exporter is considered to be the contracting party established in the EU.

Goods leaving the customs territory of the Community

The regulation sets out the conditions which apply to goods that, moving from one point in the customs territory of the Community to another, temporarily leave that territory, whether or not crossing the territory of a third country, and whose removal or export from the customs territory of the Community is prohibited or is subject to restrictions.

PRIVILEGED OPERATIONS

These provisions concern Community goods which are brought back into the customs territory of the Community after export (returned goods). The aim is to stop import duties being charged when exported Community goods are returned, for example because they could not be sold or were defective. The title also governs cases where the EU has paid export refunds or other such financial benefits, for example under the Common Agricultural Policy.

CUSTOMS DEBT

The regulation specifies the cases in which failures can be considered as having no significant effect on the operation of temporary storage or of the customs procedure. It also deals with natural wastage and goods in special situations, such as abandoned goods. It also specifies the conditions under which post-clearance entry of the customs debt in the accounts is not obligatory as well as the relevant procedures.

Repayment or remission of import or export duties

The general provisions relating to repayment or remission lay down how to apply and explain the procedure for granting applications. They lay down which decisions should be taken by the EU countries’ customs authorities and which by the Commission, and provide for administrative assistance between EU countries’ customs authorities.

CONTROLS ON USE AND DESTINATION

Application of the rules may be subject to proof that the goods in question comply with the conditions prescribed for their use or destination. That proof is supplied by a "T5 control copy" drawn up and used in accordance with the relevant provisions.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93

14.10.1993

-

L 253 of 11.10.1993

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 2454/93 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.

Last updated: 30.07.2010

See also

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