ESC is a member of the Trade Contact Group (TCG) of the European Commission’s Directorate-General Taxation and Customs Union. The TCG provides a platform for regular consultations at Union level on the development and implementation of customs related issues and developments of customs policy. Due to the recent lack of communication and postponement of TCG meetings, the members of TCG are calling the European Commission to restore a robust dialogue with all stakeholders in order to develop a realistic proposal for further reform of the Customs Union.
DG TAXUD is currently in the process of preparing a proposal for further reform of the Customs Union as a follow up to the recommendations of the Wise Persons Group with the intention to present this to the Council by the beginning of December of this year.
Regarding the current legislation which is now in the implementation phase, economic operators continue to invest substantial amounts of time, resources, and funds to update their IT infrastructure to comply with various legal requirements. Several Member States have already requested derogations to the original (delayed) timeline. Members of the TCG anticipate that many of the published timelines will not be met, requiring the Commission once more to change article 278 of the UCC related to the use of specific systems by a certain date for customs activities.
For both reasons – for the implementation of the current legislation and for the elaboration of the new legislative proposal – an intensive dialogue with the Commission is of high importance. The consultation within the context of the TCG has in the past proven to be an effective platform to review and address various concerns. However, now the Commission is postponing TCG meetings and, thus, not taking into account the knowledge and expertise of the TCG experts.
For the letter sent to the EC, please see here.