On 13 December 2019 the European Commission published a report on the progress in the development of the electronic systems under the Union Customs Code (UCC) since the provisions entered into force (i.e. 1 May 2016).
The UCC requires the Commission and the Member States to upgrade some existing electronic systems and to introduce 14 trans-European (e.g. UCC Customs Decisions system that is designed to achieve harmonisation of the customs decisions) and 3 national new systems for the completion of customs formalities. The deadline for completion of the systems is set out as 2020, 2022 or 2025, depending on the system in question. The Commission intends to use the electronic systems for every interaction between economic operators and customs authorities in order to create a paperless environment. This change will not only reduce the costs and the red tape during customs administration, but it will also enhance the competitiveness of European business.
Due to the hard work of the Commission and Member States, a part of the electronic systems will be implemented by 2020, and the rest will progressively be deployed by 2025. Once these systems are set up and implemented, all contacts between the subjects of customs procedures will be carried out electronically and this will speed up and streamline customs clearance. As a conclusion, the Commission underlined that even though they face challenges to ensure the full deployment of the electronic systems by the relevant deadlines, the projects are being carried out as planned, and several important electronic systems have already been deployed and are operational. The aim of the Commission is to ensure a smooth and successful transition to the new system.