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Union Customs Code

Did you know?

The Community Customs Code (CCC)External linksets out the rules and procedures to ensure the implementation of tariff and other measures in connection with trade between the European Union (EU) and non-Member States (Third Countries).

The CCC and its Implementing ProvisionsExternal link have had legal effect since 1 January 1994 and were written at a time when procedures were largely paper based.  The volume and speed of trade has increased significantly in the intervening years and electronic  transactions are now the norm.  The CCC has served the trading community in Europe well over the years but the time has come for it to be modernised and updated.

The CCC will be replaced by the Union Customs Code (UCC)External link , which was adopted on 9 October 2013.  In line with the requirements of the Lisbon Treaty, the UCC will be implemented through secondary legislation in the form of a pdfDelegated Act (DA) (PDF 1.28MB) and an pdfImplementing Act (IA) (PDF 1.03MB).  The UCC, DA and IA will take legal effect across all EU Member States from 1 May 2016.

While the broad thrust of the UCC has been agreed since 2013, discussions are continuing on the final details of the DA and IA and this site will be updated as any new information becomes available.

Managing the Transition

Because of the volume of legislative and consequential procedural changes that will be introduced with effect from midnight on 30th April 2016, the transition to the new UCC regime will require careful management so as to ensure minimal disruption to trade.  At EU level, work is underway to craft specific legal provisions to facilitate traders in continuing with “business as usual” as they transfer to the new regime.

In the lead up to 1 May 2016, while for the majority of operators there should be a seamless transition from the old to the new regime, Revenue will be making individual contact with the holders of certain approvals and authorisations who face significant changes in existing practices.

The UCC will introduce a number of new concepts and modernise many existing procedures.  Some of these changes will require the development of new IT systems and enhancements to existing systems which will be introduced on a phased basis between now and 31 December 2020.  The process of defining the scope of these system changes is due to be completed by the end of 2015 and Revenue will communicate the details as further information becomes available.


What will the UCC Achieve?

  • Modernise customs legislation and procedures;
  • Provide greater legal certainty and uniformity to businesses;
  • Increase clarity for customs officials throughout the EU;
  • Simplify customs rules and procedures and facilitate more efficient customs transactions in line with modern-day needs;
  • Complete the progression to a paperless and electronic customs environment;
  • Reinforce swifter customs procedures for compliant and trustworthy economic operators.

What’s New?

  • Centralised Clearance;
  • Self Assessment;
  • Binding Tariff Information will be binding on the holder;
  • A common electronic application and authorisation process for customs authorisations;
  • Certain Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) criteria will be used in assessing applications for all authorisations and simplified procedures;
  • As required under customs legislation, all exchanges of information between customs authorities and economic operators will be made using electronic data-processing techniques;
  • Registered Exporter System (REX) for claiming preference under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme;
  • Use of a reduced dataset on the New Computerised Transit System(NCTS);
  • A new electronic system for storing and exchanging information relating to Proof of Union Status using T2L, T2LF and Goods Manifest;
  • New safety and security rules allowing for the introduction of multiple filing at entry, compulsory commodity codes, provision of pre-loading security data for air cargo and weight thresholds to replace the value exemption.


What’s Changing?

  • Drawback will no longer be allowed in Inward Processing (IP);
  • Processing under Customs Control (PCC) will be merged with the IP suspension procedure;
  • Compensatory Interest in relation to the IP procedure is being removed;
  • Type II Free Zones will no longer exist;
  • Comprehensive Guarantees and Guarantee Waivers will be more widely available;
  • One new criteria will be added for AEO status;
  • Temporary Storage period of discharge will be increased;
  • Increased harmonisation of rules relating to customs decisions;
  • Level 1 air/sea simplified procedure for transit will no longer be available;
  • Level 2 air/sea simplified procedure for transit will be replaced with the use of an electronic transport document as a customs transit declaration;
  • New harmonised datasets for all declarations/notifications;
  • Applications for the Temporary Importation procedure will be made electronically.


Key Dates

Community Customs Code – key dates for transition and implementation of new measures
Date Milestone
30/10/13 UCC entry into force
30/04/16 Repeal of the Community Customs Code
01/05/16 Application of the Union Customs Code
1/1/21 All IT systems fully operational

Need to Know More?

Contact the UCC Communications Coordinator below for further information.

Eddie Wallace
UCC Communications Coordinator,
Customs Procedures Branch,
Revenue Commissioners,
Co. Tipperary

Tel: 067 63329

Mobile: 087 2069108