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Taxation and Customs Union

The modernised Community Customs Code

In its Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on a simple and paperless environment for customs and trade (COM(2003) 452 of 24/07/2003) the Commission announced that it will modernise and simplify customs rules and processes.

The attached draft aims at achieving that:

  • electronic declarations and electronic exchange of data become the rule;
  • the existing customs procedures and other regimes are simplified and reduced;
  • the scope and use of simplified procedures are extended;
  • the roles of inland and frontier customs offices are redefined;
  • the rights and responsibilities of traders and freight forwarders are redefined;
  • new tools and methods are introduced in the customs legislation.

Such simplification of customs legislation would reduce the cost for business, increase legal certainty for citizens (better regulation), and allow traders to fully benefit from the possibilities offered by IT procedures and the Single Market.

The open consultation on version Rev- 3 of the draft modernised Community Customs Code was completed on 15 September 2004 . The substantial number of contributions received have now been evaluated by the Commission and a new version (Rev-4) drafted, which takes into account those comments and suggested changes considered to be in keeping with the principles of the proposed modernization and simplification of the Code (see tabulated responses by the Commission to the various comments received).

Following this consultation, the Commission adopted its proposal for a modernised Customs Code on 30 November 2005 (COM (2005) 608 final).

After amendment by the European Parliament and Council, this proposal became Regulation (EC) N° 450/2008 of 23 April 2008 laying down the Community Customs Code (modernised Customs Code).

For more details on this regulation, how it was adopted and will be implemented, see Community Customs Code.