Understanding the New 2021 EU Customs Regulations
I’ll get into BREXIT more in-depth once UK trade deals have been better defined. Both with the EU and the rest of the world. For now, it’s important to note that the UK will no longer trade as part of the EU after December 31, 2020. So, these EU customs changes will affect the UK the same as the rest of the world.
In the current system, each country determines its own domestic and distance selling thresholds. In 2019, the EU set a global threshold of EUR 10,000 for telecommunications, broadcasting, and electronic (TBE) services. This same €10,000 threshold will extend to all businesses in July 2021.
Even with the thresholds, VAT for the customer is unavoidable. Transactions with merchants who fall below the selling thresholds will require the buyer to pay VAT to customs upon goods entering the EU.
Details must include:
- Shipper, Exporter, Receiver, and Importer of Record address & contact
- Value of the goods, freight, and insurance costs (depending on the Incoterm)
- Line item, detailed Goods Description, HS codes, and Country of Origin
- Incoterms, Weight & Quantity
- Type of Transaction & Reason for Export
Here are some examples of waybill descriptions the EU will no longer accept:
No longer accepted: Samples
New Mandatory Description: Samples of curtains (including drapes) and interior blinds; curtain or bed valances of cotton HS Code: 6303.91.XXXX (last digits are country-specific)
No longer accepted:Parts
New Mandatory Description: Parts of pumps for liquids, whether or not fitted with a measuring device; liquid elevators HS Code: 8413.91.XXXX
2015, the EU established the MOSS portal to make it easy for merchants to register and pay EU VAT. The system is currently used by telecommunications, broadcasting, or electronically supplied services to pay VAT.
Starting in July 2021, all businesses will use the MOSS portal to submit returns and pay VAT.
As with the new VAT procedures, ICS2 is an advanced system whereby shipments are screened and approved before loading at the country of departure.
The EU promises ICS2 is more effective and efficient at screening for threats while keeping shipments moving without unnecessary delays.
“It will collect data about all goods entering the EU prior to their arrival. Economic Operators (EOs) will have to declare safety and security data to ICS2, through the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS).”
Excerpt from EU Import Control System 2 (ICS2)
According to the EU’s official documentation, ICS2 will:
- Increase the protection of EU citizens and the internal market against security and safety threats;
- Allow EU Customs authorities to identify high-risk consignments better and intervene at the most appropriate point in the supply chain;
- Support proportionate targeted customs measures at the external borders in crisis response scenarios;
- Facilitate cross-border clearance for the legitimate trade;
- Simplify the exchange of information between Economic Operators (EOs) and EU Customs Authorities.
The EU has outlined a three-stage implementation for ICS2 with Release 1 taking effect March 1, 2021.
ICS2 Release 1
- Who? – Express carriers and European based postal operators and Third-country postal operators shipping to Europe.
- When? – The first release becomes effective on 15 March 2021.
- How? – Pre-Loading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI) using the minimum ENS dataset.
ICS2 Release 2
- Who? – Postal operators, express and air carriers, and freight forwarders.
- When? – The second release becomes effective on 1 March 2023.
- How? – Operators have to complete the ENS dataset for all goods in air transport.
ICS2 Release 3
- Who? – Operators carrying goods on maritime and inland waterways and roads and railways.
- When? – The final release becomes effective on 1 March 2024.
- How? – Operators have to complete the ENS dataset for all goods in these sectors, including postal and express consignments.
eLogistics – Logistics for eCommerce
Navigating the world of logistics in the world of eCommerce can be daunting. In 2019 I released eLogisitics – Logistics for eCommerce. In it, I simplify terminology, international regulations, and the many fascitis of cross-border eCommerce.
I also speak about technologies like blockchain and the future of eLogistics as we move more towards fully digital systems for trade.
The EU’s new customs regulations take a positive step towards digitizing cross-border systems, and we’re likely to see many countries implementing similar procedures.