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EU businesses call for customs procedures to focus on economic growth and increased trade

12 Sep 2016
Customs & Trade Facilitation

EU businesses throughout the value chain could benefit significantly if customs was better integrated with  economic and trade policy and implemented identically across the EU. 

These were the key messages arising from a high-level conference on the state of the new Union Customs Code and the future of EU Customs, held on 7 September 2016 by seven leading trade bodies (AmCham EU, CLECAT, EuroCommerce, the European Express Association, the Foreign Trade Association, IATA and the World Shipping Council, with support of EurTradeNet).

This event, supported by the World Customs Organisation and held at their Brussels headquarters, was the first forum of its kind to successfully bring together all stakeholders on EU customs policy after the new Union Customs Code entered into force in May 2016.  Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici delivered the keynote speech. Participants, including business leaders and key representatives from the EU Institutions, discussed in depth a number of ways in which customs could act as a tool for business competitiveness and facilitating trade, while supporting the EU’s security and safety.

The conference looked at two broad themes: a future vision for customs policy, and lessons learned from the modernisation programme so far. One important conclusion reached was that, while the UCC had only just entered into force, there was scope for further improvements to be considered in the coming years. This is especially the case with the new electronic customs systems needed to implement elements of the UCC by 2020. The business community needs a much more coordinated, efficient and harmonised interface with customs across the EU and many regard 2020 as a very challenging deadline.

View the joint statement released by all participating associations here. For further information, please contact Ava Lloyd at