“EU to Impose Customs Duties on Low-Value Goods: Customs Reform and Data Hub in the Works”

2023-05-15 08:54:08

Status: 05/15/2023 10:54 am

According to a media report, the EU intends to levy customs duties on goods from third countries, even if they are of low value. This could lead to additional income of 750 million euros annually.

The EU is apparently planning to levy customs duties on goods with a lower value in the future. As part of the forthcoming customs reform, the limit of 150 euros for goods imported from third countries is to be abolished, reports the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” (“SZ”), which had insight into the draft of a proposed law. This means that a few intermediate steps are still required before the legislative process is completed. The customs revenue would benefit the EU budget directly and should lead to additional income of 750 million euros annually, the paper writes.

Until now, customers within the EU internal market have only paid import sales tax for goods with a value of less than 150 euros, but no customs duties. According to the report, the Commission will present its plans for the change on Wednesday. It is then part of a reform that also envisages a new EU customs authority to be created by 2028.

The focus is primarily on money laundering and illegally acquired assets.
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A new “data hub”

The authority should build, maintain and maintain a new “data hub” so that information flows better between the member states and customs procedures are facilitated, the “SZ” reported, citing the proposed law. This should gradually replace the 27 different IT systems in the Member States with a centralized system.

The aim is “an EU-wide overview of the entire supply chain in real time,” according to “SZ” in the Commission proposal. “The existing customs union administrative framework lacks a clear structure and does not reflect the evolution of customs since 1968.”

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Need for reform of the customs system

The European Customs Union has existed for 55 years. The national customs authorities uniformly apply the same tariffs to goods imported from third countries outside the EU, while they no longer levy customs duties internally. Tariffs on goods entering the EU are part of its “traditional own resources” and account for around 14 percent of the EU’s total budget.

However, not all authorities have been informed at the same time about suspicious consignments of goods and illegal imports, and the European customs system is very inconsistent. The Commission wants to remedy this with the reform.

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