– having regard to the Council common position (11272/6/2007 – C6-0354/2007),
– having regard to its position at first reading(1) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2005)0608),
– having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,
– having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,
– having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A6-0011/2008),
1. Approves the common position;
2. Notes that the act is adopted in accordance with the common position;
3. Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council pursuant to Article 254(1) of the EC Treaty;
4. Instructs its Secretary-General to sign the act, once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to have it published in the Official Journal of the European Union;
5. Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.
The proposal for a regulation on a modernized customs code is intended to overhaul the entire Customs Code originally adopted in 1992. The proposal, covering matters related to the requirements of an electronic customs and trading environment, to the simplification of customs legislation, and to the changing nature of the tasks performed by customs authorities, aims to simplify legislative and administrative procedures from the point of view of both customs authorities and economic operators.
Parliament adopted its report at first reading on 12 December 2006. The German Presidency managed to secure a political agreement on 25 June 2007. Parliament adopted 51 amendments to the proposal at first reading, 34 of which, mostly of a substantive nature, have been taken over fully or in part in the Council common position.
Your rapporteur therefore intends to look again at the subjects of disagreement at first reading and explain why she accepts the Council’s common position. The points concerned are
·the status of authorised economic operator,
·entitlement to act as a customs representative,
·centralised customs clearance, and
1) Authorised economic operators
The status of authorised economic operator was established by Regulation (EC) No 648/2005, known as the ‘security amendment’: the idea was to offer greater facilities to operators and hence offset the new burdens that they had to shoulder in order to cope with security-related aspects.
In its common position the Council has taken over Parliament’s Amendment 16, providing for two distinct types of authorisation, namely ‘customs simplification’ and ‘safety and security’: this solution allows for the different needs of economic operators.
As called for in Parliament’s Amendment 17, an applicant will not now be able to request that authorised economic operator status be limited to one or more specified Member States.
2) Entitlement to act as a customs representative
As regards customs representatives (Article 11 and recital 10), the Council has reached quite an interesting compromise. It has not reproduced Parliament’s proposals exactly, but has nonetheless proceeded from the premiss that customs representatives and authorised economic operators should interact along the lines that we were calling for.
In the common position, customs representation is deemed to be a service within the meaning of the Treaty and thus falls under freedom of establishment and the provision of services.
The right of establishment is a matter for Member States. The entitlement to provide services within the Community is based on the criteria governing authorised economic operator status as laid down in Article 14(a) to (d).
3) Centralised customs clearance
The Council has introduced a new Article 106, taking the view that it is more logical and transparent for all of the provisions of the Code related to the concept of centralised clearance to be encompassed within a single article. According to the new wording, all economic operators may benefit from centralised clearance on the territory of any one Member State, but they have to satisfy the eligibility criteria for authorised economic operator status in cases involving several Member States.
The Council has issued a statement ‘on the sharing of duty collection, on VAT and on statistics under the centralised clearance system’. Collection costs will thus be apportioned according to an adjustment mechanism so as to allow for the actual involvement of customs and tax administrations in customs operations connected with the import and export of goods. This arrangement will consequently prevent delay in the adoption of the Modernised Customs Code and avert serious disruption of any kind to the Member States’ budgetary management.
The Council and Commission have, in addition, produced a joint statement, as both institutions agree that the operation of the centralised clearance system should be assessed three years after the Modernized Customs Code has entered into force. The Commission will accordingly submit a report to the Council and Parliament and draw up such proposals as might be considered necessary to amend the legislation.
One of the key issues was the regulatory procedure with scrutiny, which was to have applied to just 28 provisions; the Council, however, has broadened it out to cover 44 provisions, thus increasing the extent of Parliament’s involvement.
That is why your rapporteur endorses the Council common position and is asking you to adopt her draft recommendation without amendment.
Date receipt of common position announced in plenary
Date announced in plenary
Discussed in committee
Result of final vote
Members present for the final vote
Mogens Camre, Gabriela Creţu, Janelly Fourtou, Vicente Miguel Garcés Ramón, Malcolm Harbour, Anna Hedh, Alexander Lambsdorff, Lasse Lehtinen, Toine Manders, Arlene McCarthy, Nickolay Mladenov, Zita Pleštinská, Giovanni Rivera, Zuzana Roithová, Heide Rühle, Leopold Józef Rutowicz, Alexander Stubb, Marianne Thyssen, Jacques Toubon, Bernadette Vergnaud, Barbara Weiler
Substitute(s) present for the final vote
André Brie, Colm Burke, Giovanna Corda, Brigitte Fouré, Filip Kaczmarek, Marine Le Pen, Andrea Losco, Manuel Medina Ortega, Gary Titley, Stefano Zappalà