bnt attorneys for CEE close.straight.forward

Major reform in EU customs law

Latvia: Latvia is affected by the new EU customs codex as an EU member state. For example, changes concern customs procedures and implement IT.

The new EU customs codex, in force since 1 May 2016, thoroughly reforms EU customs law. This is reflected in Latvia, where the Customs Act entered into force on 5 July 2016.

The customs union forms part of the core of common policy in the EU – elimination of customs within the Union and a common customs tariff for third countries.

In general, the new EU customs codex aims to streamline and simplify the old rules from 1992. The core of the reform is extensive implementation of IT systems.

For the customs administration, the reform aims for more legal certainty in everyday practice plus improved cooperation with the customs administration of other countries.

More diligent processing of illegal or otherwise dangerous goods aims to benefit consumers.

Finally, the aims are also for the benefit of importing and exporting companies: improved legal certainty plus more efficient customs proceedings. For example, compliant and reliable companies may apply for the status of an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO). In all kinds of proceedings this status will allow for simplified controls and thus cost reductions. Moreover, this status is an asset in relation to customers. All permits are valid to 1 May 2019. By then they must be reassessed.

An important novelty concerns Binding Tariff Information (BTI), no longer valid for six years but only for three and not – unlike as before – binding both on the customs administration as well as on the party desiring the information. This means that BTI must now be used in a customs declaration. However, it can be challenged before the administration within six weeks if the applicant objects to the administration’s classification.

A transitional delegated act governs the provisions that remain in force until 2020. By then the new EU customs codex must be fully implemented.

Source: 

EU customs codex, regulation (EU) No 952/2013 of 9 October 2013, OJ L 269/1;
Customs Act of the Republic of Latvia, No. OP. 2016/119.1