New: UCC

On 1 May, the Community Customs Code (CDW in Dutch) was replaced by the Union Customs Code (UCC). This should make the legislation easier for businesses. Additionally, the law is necessary because customs increasingly digitizes and because there is more attention to safety.

For the full implementation of the law a transition period is in place until 2020. Legislation which can only be implemented by upgrading or updating IT systems, will only be applicable in a later stage. Also, arrangements such as customs valuation and warehouse type D transitional provisions are applicable. Modifications ‘on paper’, such as AEO and the Binding Tariff Information, are applicable as per 1 May 2016.


There are no major changes to the AEO arrangements. AEO is increasingly becoming a prerequisite for other customs simplifications and permits. Also, there are additional requirements for practical work experience or qualifications. For example, a specialized training or at least three years of practical experience are required.

Customs valuation
The customs value of goods can be determined in different ways. But the definition of the most common method (the transaction value) is reformulated. The transaction value will now be based on the final sales value before the goods are brought into the territory of the Union.

Binding Tariff Information (BTI) and Binding Origin Information (BOI)
Until recently, binding tariff and origin information could be requested at customs. Its use was not mandatory but that has changed. If a company applies for a BTI or a BOI, the number of the information must be reported in the customs declarations and the details stated in the information apply. This also applies to BTI’s and BOI’s companies may already have. Should someone have a BTI or BOI but never use it, a request must be made to have it withdrawn. The validity of new BTI’s and BOI’s was reduced from six to three years, on 1 May 2016.

Incomplete declarations
Many companies make an ‘incomplete declaration’. This means that a declaration is made without all the data (such as a certificate of origin) being available. The UCC states that a license is required in case of regular use of the simplification. The deadline for submitting the additional information is reduced to ten days.

Entry in Declarant’s Records (monthly declaration)
Additional requirements apply to the Entry in Declarant’s Records.

Special regulations (customs warehousing and inward processing)
The current classification of customs warehouses (type A to F) no longer exists. Instead, there are three types of public warehouses and one private warehouse. The private warehouse is a mix of the current warehouses C and E. The arrangements inward-processing (IP) suspension, IP repayment and processing under customs control are merged into one single IP procedure. This one rule is similar to the IP suspension arrangement. In the transitional provisions it is determined that as such, the current permits remain in force under the current condition until the expiry of the permit.