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Tighter checks on EU imports

Laws & Regulations

In 2005, European Regulation 648 has become effective, imposing new and uniform obligations on imports from third countries. The measures have been developed with a view to ensuring security, especially in the light of international terrorism and to countering the proliferation of

 

In 2005, European Regulation 648 has become effective, imposing new and uniform obligations on imports from third countries. The measures have been developed with a view to ensuring security, especially in the light of international terrorism and to countering the proliferation of counterfeit goods.

Following the law, from 1 July 2009 onwards, economic operators will have to provide EU customs with a summary declaration of their goods before they enter the Union. The deadlines for such declarations are now specified in implementing provisions which have been published at the end of 2006.

The deadline for the declaration is generally set at 24 hours before loading at the port of departure for maritime transport by sea. In the case of rail and inland waters traffic the deadline is at least 2 hours prior to arrival at the customs office of entry in the customs territory of the Commission. In the case of road traffic, that is at least 1 hour.

Accreditation

As for paper notification, normally a minimum of 4 hours applies. Electronic declarations are the rule, paper versions will only be accepted if customs’ computer or the electronic application are not functioning.
If an operator meets certain conditions, he is able to obtain the status of ‘authorised economic operator’. As a result, he benefits from less exhaustive customs controls.

For that ‘accreditation’, he has to show a good record of compliance with customs requirements and a sound system of managing commercial and transport records. He also has to prove financial solvency and that he has taken the necessary security measures.

The declaration has to be lodged by or on behalf of the person who brings the goods into the EU territory or the person who is responsible for the carriage of the goods after they have entered the EU. The Authorised Economic Operator Programme has entered into force on 1 January 2008.

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