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Convention on a common transit procedure

The customs transit procedure enables goods to move more freely and simplifies customs formalities. It takes the form of a temporary suspension of the duties and taxes normally due on goods imported into the customs territory. This procedure is based on a convention between the EC and the countries of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA)

ACT

Council Decision 87/415/EEC of 15 June 1987 concerning the conclusion of a Convention between the European Community, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland, the Republic of Iceland, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden and the Swiss Confederation on a common transit procedure [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

Customs transit is a customs procedure that facilitates the transport of goods:

  • between two points in the customs territory;
  • between two points in the customs territory, via a different customs territory;
  • between two or more different customs territories.

The system allows temporary suspension of the tariffs, taxes and commercial policy measures applicable to imports. It allows customs clearance formalities to be carried out at destination rather than at the point of entry into the customs territory.

For the EC, customs transit enables goods to move under the transit procedure from their point of entry into the EC to their place of customs clearance, where the customs and national taxation obligations are dealt with.

Common transit

The Convention on a common transit procedure was set up in 1987. After the 1995 and 2004 enlargements of the EU, the contracting parties are now as follows:

  • the EC;
  • Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Romania (' EFTA countries ' for the Convention).

Amending provisions on the common transit procedure are adopted by the EC-EFTA Joint Committee.

The common transit procedure is not compulsory. The TIR procedure or the export procedure may be used instead.

The common transit procedure closely resembles the Community transit procedure in its rules and procedures, which are almost identical. The Community transit procedure is based on the Community Customs Code and its Implementing provisions.

T1 and T2 procedures

A T1 * or T2 * procedure is used for goods moving between the EC and EFTA countries, according to their customs status.

The 2001 reforms

In 2001, major changes were made to the Convention on the common transit procedure. These are intended to make the transit procedures more resistant to fraud during the transit operations, in order to:

  • protect the financial interests of the contracting parties more effectively;
  • simplify the administrative formalities for traders, easing the movement of goods.
Key terms used in the act
  • The T1 procedure concerns the movement of non-EU goods when customs duties or other import taxes are involved.
  • The T2 procedure concerns the movement of EU goods.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Decision 87/415/EEC20.05.1987-OJ L 226 of 13.08.1987

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EEC) No 1811/8830.06.1988-OJ L 162 of 29.06.1988
Regulation (EEC) No 2011/8914.07.1989-OJ L 200 of 13.07.1989
Regulation (EEC) No 664/9122.03.1991-OJ L 075 of 21.03.1991
Decision No 1/91 EEC/EFTA01.01.1993-OJ L 402 of 31.12.1992
Decision No 2/92 EEC/EFTA01.01.1993-OJ L 402 of 31.12.1992
Decision No 1/93 EEC/EFTA01.01.1994-OJ L 012 of 15.01.1994
Decision No 2/93 EEC/EFTA01.01.1994-OJ L 012 of 15.01.1994
Decision No 1/94 EEC/EFTA01.01.1995-OJ L 371 of 31.12.1994
Decision No 2/94 EEC/EFTA01.01.1995-OJ L 371 of 31.12.1994
Decision No 3/94 EEC/EFTA01.04.1995-OJ L 371 of 31.12.1994
Decision No 4/94 EEC/EFTA01.01.1995-OJ L 371 of 31.12.1994
Decision No 3/95 EC/EFTA01.01.1996-OJ L 117 of 14.05.1996
Decision No 1/96 EC/EFTA05.07.1996-OJ L 226 of 07.09.1996
Decision No 2/96 EC/EFTA05.07.1996-OJ L 226 of 07.09.1996
Decision No 3/96 EC/EFTA01.03.1997-OJ L 043 of 14.02.1997
Decision No 4/96 EC/EFTA01.01.1997-OJ L 043 of 14.02.1997
Decision No 2/97 EC/EFTA01.10.1997-OJ L 238 of 29.08.1997
Decision No 3/97 EC/EFTA01.10.1997-OJ L 238 of 29.08.1997
Decision No 4/97 EC/EFTA01.02.1998-OJ L 005 of 09.01.1998
Decision No 1/1999 EC/EFTA31.03.1999-OJ L 065 of 12.03.1999
Decision No 2/99 EC/EFTA31.03.1999-OJ L 119 of 07.05.1999
Decision No 1/2000 EC/EFTA20.12.2000-OJ L 009 of 12.01.2001
Decision No 1/2001 EC/EFTA07.06.2001-OJ L 165 of 21.06.2001
Decision No 2/2002 EC/EFTA27.11.2002-OJ L 004 of 09.01.2003
Decision No 1/2005 EC/EFTA17.06.2005-OJ L 189 of 21.07.2005
Decision No 2/2005 EC/EFTA17.06.2005-OJ L 189 of 21.07.2005
Decision No 3/2005 EC/EFTA17.06.2005-OJ L 189 of 21.07.2005
Decision No 4/2005 EC/EFTA15.08.2005-OJ L 225 of 31.08.2005
Decision No 5/2005 EC/EFTA04.10.2005-OJ L 269 of 14.10.2005
Decision No 6/2005 EC/EFTA04.10.2005-OJ L 324 of 10.12.2005
Decision No 1/2006 EC/EFTA25.10.2006-OJ L 357 of 15.12.2006
Decision No 1/2007 EC/EFTA1.1.2007-OJ L 145 of 7.6.2007

RELATED ACTS

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 20 March 2003, "Implementation of the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS)" [COM(2003) 125 final - not published in the Official Journal].

In 2000, the new computerised transit system (NCTS) was launched under the Community's Customs 2000 programme. The system concerns the computerisation of Community transit procedures. It serves as a tool to manage and control the transit system. It is intended to:

  • increase the efficiency and effectiveness of transit procedures;
  • improve both the prevention and the detection of fraud;
  • accelerate and render secure transactions carried out under a transit procedure.

EFTA countries that are party to the Convention on a common transit procedure are also committed to implementing the NCTS.

Council Resolution of 21 June 1999 on the reform of customs transit systems [OJ C 193 of 09.07.1999].

Communication of 30 April 1997 to the European Parliament and the Council "Action plan for transit in Europe - A new customs policy", COM(97) 188 final and OJ C 176 of 10.6.1997].
The aim of this Communication is to reform customs transit systems.

Council Resolution of 23 November 1995 on the computerisation of customs transit systems [OJ C 327 of 07.12.1995].

Last updated: 02.07.2007
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