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ESC – European Shippers' Council

Trade Facilitation

Enhanced trade facilitation, better cooperation between border agencies, and more harmonized taxation will boost international trade.

Brexit
Brexit will have a major implication on European trade. Shippers should have sufficient time to cope with the new situation. ESC will lobby both sides of the Channel to have interests of shippers included in their negotiations and avoid any trade barriers that prevent seamless supply chains.

Single Window
It is important that import and export procedures are effective and efficient. Single window and coordinated border management are a means to reduce costs, as information should only be presented once. In many sea and airports nowadays, different procedures are in place. Single windows can also make logistics more reliable and less vulnerable. If Single Windows are in place, then they should be open to all parties involved. ESC will monitor that single windows will really support business processes.

Union Customs Code implementation
The Union Customs Code entered into force in 2016. However, implementation will take place until 2020. Important, especially for shippers, centralized clearance and self-assessment will only be implemented in 2020. Automation systems to enable new customs legislation have to be developed and implemented in parallel to the legislative changes. ESC will make sure that the implementation will be done without negative impact on the business processes of shippers. ESC is in constant contact with the European Commission and other relevant stakeholders.

VAT Harmonisation
A more harmonized VAT legislation in the EU would contribute to the decrease of shipping costs in Europe. Various situations specific to each Member State reduce the effectiveness of the internal market. A good balance should be seen between anti-fraud measures and trade facilitation. Deferred payment systems should be safeguarded within the EU.

Trade Agreements
The EU is preparing a lot of trade agreements for the years to come. Although the fate of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is uncertain now, many new agreements will be on the table. ESC will defend the interests of shippers in reducing the costs on international transactions and harmonising and facilitating border procedures. ESC gets a regular update from the Commission on the negotiations with third countries.