The Council of the European Union has decided to implement a single window environment for customs, with the aim of facilitating international trade. The new rules are intended to simplify (or rather automatize) customs clearance processes, creating a single communication channel between economic operators, customs authorities and partner competent authorities, and to integrate customs and non-customs procedures of the European Union.
The existing system has “inefficient goods clearance processes”, due to redundancy in procedures, as there is “a significant overlap between the data included in the customs declaration or re-export declaration and the data included in the supporting documents required for the Union non-customs formalities”.
The single window environment for customs will require the creation of an electronic certificates exchange system, designated EU CSW-CERTEX. Each economic operator will have a registration and identification number (EORI number), which will be used by the competent authorities to access all the information relating to its goods and customs clearance process.
Economic operators will thus cease to submit the same data to multiple authorities, via separate documents and portals, with the EORI number being stored in a database, accessible to all authorities involved in goods clearance processes in the European Union.
As a result, Member States’ authorities will be able to automatically verify whether the goods concerned comply with the required customs and non-customs procedures, reducing the administrative burden for economic operators.
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