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Establishing an EU single window for customs

12-02-2021

The IA underpinning the proposal to establish a single window environment for customs is well structured, substantiated and clear. It acknowledges a scarcity of comparable EU-wide data, and is transparent on the assumptions underlying the analysis. The presentation, screening and assessment of the retained policy options is clear and balanced, assessing their direct economic impacts, as well as their social and environmental implications. The selection of the preferred options is based on cost-effectiveness ...

The IA underpinning the proposal to establish a single window environment for customs is well structured, substantiated and clear. It acknowledges a scarcity of comparable EU-wide data, and is transparent on the assumptions underlying the analysis. The presentation, screening and assessment of the retained policy options is clear and balanced, assessing their direct economic impacts, as well as their social and environmental implications. The selection of the preferred options is based on cost-effectiveness and qualitative analyses, expecting significant net benefits from interconnecting authorities responsible for non-customs formalities laid down in EU legislation to existing national single window environments, which in turn, are harmonised to achieve a level playing field for economic operators, in particular SMEs. Social and environmental benefits derive from better digital administrative cooperation, the reduction of fraud and better compliance with EU regulatory requirements.

Excluding Northern Irish imports from EU tariff rate quotas

22-12-2020

The United Kingdom (UK) withdrew from the European Union (EU) on 1 February 2020. The Withdrawal Agreement, which entered into force on 1 February 2020, provides for a transition period during which the UK will remain in the EU's single market and customs union until 1 January 2021. The Withdrawal Agreement also includes a Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, which states that Northern Ireland will be part of the UK's customs territory and internal market after the transition, but that goods originating ...

The United Kingdom (UK) withdrew from the European Union (EU) on 1 February 2020. The Withdrawal Agreement, which entered into force on 1 February 2020, provides for a transition period during which the UK will remain in the EU's single market and customs union until 1 January 2021. The Withdrawal Agreement also includes a Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, which states that Northern Ireland will be part of the UK's customs territory and internal market after the transition, but that goods originating in Northern Ireland have access to the EU without tariffs or quotas, and that EU law relating to competition and trade is applicable to Northern Ireland. While the Protocol creates obligations between the UK and the EU, and specifically allows for the free movement of goods between Northern Ireland and the EU and vice versa, it does not create obligations vis-à-vis third countries. This could lead to circumvention of the use of EU tariff rate quotas and pose a risk to the proper functioning of the EU single market and the integrity of the common commercial policy. To address these risks and provide legal clarification, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal on 14 August 2020 setting out that goods imported to Northern Ireland from non-EU countries would not benefit from the EU tariff rate quotas and other import quotas unless ultimately destined for the EU. With just a single amendment, to bring forward entry into force (but not change the date of application, 1 January 2021), corresponding to the Council's position, the European Parliament voted on the report in plenary on 25 November 2020. The regulation was then adopted by the Council at first reading, and signed by the Presidents of the two branches of the EU legislature on 16 December 2020.

EU-Turkey customs union: Modernisation or suspension?

15-12-2020

Turkey is the EU's fifth largest trading partner, while the EU is Turkey's largest. The association agreement concluded between the European Economic Community (EEC) and Turkey in 1963 was an interim step towards the country's accession to the EEC, membership of which it had applied for in 1959. The EU-Turkey customs union came into force in 1995, and Turkey obtained EU candidate status in 1999. In December 2004, the European Council decided that Turkey qualified for EU accession, making it possible ...

Turkey is the EU's fifth largest trading partner, while the EU is Turkey's largest. The association agreement concluded between the European Economic Community (EEC) and Turkey in 1963 was an interim step towards the country's accession to the EEC, membership of which it had applied for in 1959. The EU-Turkey customs union came into force in 1995, and Turkey obtained EU candidate status in 1999. In December 2004, the European Council decided that Turkey qualified for EU accession, making it possible to open negotiations to this end. In 2008, the Council of the EU adopted a revised accession partnership with Turkey. Since 2016, EU-Turkey relations have suffered due to a deterioration of democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law in Turkey, in the wake of a failed military coup. A European Commission recommendation of 21 December 2016 to launch talks with Turkey on modernising the EU-Turkey customs union was halted by the General Affairs Council of 26 June 2018, which concluded that no further work in this direction should be planned. In 2019 and 2020, Turkey's military operations in Syria, Libya and the eastern Mediterranean, coupled with its maritime disputes with Greece and Cyprus, further eroded its relations with the EU. Following some positive signs by Turkey, on 1 October 2020 the European Council once again gave a green light to modernising the customs union, provided that constructive efforts to stop illegal activities vis-à-vis Greece and Cyprus were sustained. The European Council also stressed that in case of renewed unilateral actions or provocations in breach of international law, the EU would use 'all the instruments and the options at its disposal', including in accordance with Article 29 of the Treaty on European Union and Article 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, to defend its interests and those of its Member States. However, in the light of Turkey's recent conduct and given that the EU-Turkey customs union has not been modernised, but not suspended either, the EU could agree on some new sanctions, as called for in the European Parliament's 26 November 2020 resolution on escalating tensions in Varosha.

UK Internal Market Bill and the Withdrawal Agreement

20-11-2020

On 9 September 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) government tabled a bill in the House of Commons which would govern the country's internal market after the Brexit transition period ends. It aims to allow goods and services to flow freely between the four jurisdictions of the UK – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – replacing the rules now in place through membership of the EU's single market. Certain parts of this UK Internal Market Bill are particularly controversial, as they explicitly ...

On 9 September 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) government tabled a bill in the House of Commons which would govern the country's internal market after the Brexit transition period ends. It aims to allow goods and services to flow freely between the four jurisdictions of the UK – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – replacing the rules now in place through membership of the EU's single market. Certain parts of this UK Internal Market Bill are particularly controversial, as they explicitly contravene the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland attached to the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) that was ratified in January 2020. First, the bill provides that the UK government may authorise Northern Ireland businesses not to complete exit summary declarations when sending goods to Great Britain, thereby breaching the Union Customs Code applicable to NI. The bill would also allow the UK government to interpret, dis-apply or modify the application of the State aid rules of the European Union, which are applicable to UK measures that affect trade between Northern Ireland and the EU. Last but not least, the bill provides that UK regulations in these areas will have effect notwithstanding their incompatibility with relevant domestic or international law, including the Withdrawal Agreement. The reaction of the European Commission to the bill was immediate, calling for an extraordinary meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee, which was held the following day, 10 September. On 1 October, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to the UK for breaching its obligations under the WA, marking the beginning of an infringement process against the UK. As the UK did not reply by the end of October, the Commission may now proceed with the process, sending a Reasoned Opinion to the UK. Meanwhile, the bill has passed third reading in the House of Commons, even if in the House of Lords the government has been heavily defeated, with amendments removing the controversial clauses. While the government has indicated its intention to re-table the clauses when the bill returns to the Commons in December, it would be open to it to no longer press for their inclusion, if and when agreement is reached in the ongoing negotiations on the future EU-UK relationship.

Economic Dialogue and Exchange of Views with the President of the Council (ECOFIN)

20-01-2020

Zdravko Marić, Minister of Finance of Croatia, is participating in the ECON Committee in his capacity of President of the ECOFIN Council during the Croatian Presidency (January-June 2020). In accordance with the Treaty of the Union, “Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern and shall coordinate them within the Council”. This briefing provides an overview of the Croatian Presidency priorities in ECON matters, including the deepening of EMU, and the Council’ ...

Zdravko Marić, Minister of Finance of Croatia, is participating in the ECON Committee in his capacity of President of the ECOFIN Council during the Croatian Presidency (January-June 2020). In accordance with the Treaty of the Union, “Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern and shall coordinate them within the Council”. This briefing provides an overview of the Croatian Presidency priorities in ECON matters, including the deepening of EMU, and the Council’s work relating to the implementation of the European Semester for economic coordination.

Commitments made at the hearing of Paolo GENTILONI, Commissioner-designate - Economy

22-11-2019

The commissioner-designate, Paolo Gentiloni, appeared before the European Parliament on 03 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committees on Economic and Monetary Affairs and on Budgets. During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission and include economic and financial affairs, fair and ...

The commissioner-designate, Paolo Gentiloni, appeared before the European Parliament on 03 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committees on Economic and Monetary Affairs and on Budgets. During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission and include economic and financial affairs, fair and effective taxation and a strong and modern Customs Union.

Workshop on “Strengthening Competitiveness of the Internal Market by Developing the EU Customs Union and its Governance”

15-05-2019

This report summarises the discussion that took place at the workshop on “Strengthening Competitiveness of the Internal Market by Developing the EU Customs Union and its Governance”. The Union Customs Code is a key element of the ongoing actions to modernise EU customs. With the aim of discussing the main challenges related to this topic and the recent proposal of the European Commission to postpone the deadline of 2020, the workshop was hosted by Ms Virginie Rozière, MEP. This document was prepared ...

This report summarises the discussion that took place at the workshop on “Strengthening Competitiveness of the Internal Market by Developing the EU Customs Union and its Governance”. The Union Customs Code is a key element of the ongoing actions to modernise EU customs. With the aim of discussing the main challenges related to this topic and the recent proposal of the European Commission to postpone the deadline of 2020, the workshop was hosted by Ms Virginie Rozière, MEP. This document was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

Contribution to Growth: Customs union Delivering improved rights for European citizens and businesses

15-03-2019

This in-depth analysis was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the IMCO Committee to provide background information on rights and benefits delivered to European citizens by developments of the EU Customs Union and on the potential for further achievements.

This in-depth analysis was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the IMCO Committee to provide background information on rights and benefits delivered to European citizens by developments of the EU Customs Union and on the potential for further achievements.

Ārējais autors

Prof. Dr. Tobias STOLL

Customs 2020 and Fiscalis 2020 (2014-2020)

13-12-2018

The Customs 2020 programme was established by Regulation No 1294/2013 and is aimed at supporting the functioning of the customs union. The Fiscalis 2020 programme was established by Regulation No 1286/2013 and is aimed at improving the operation of the taxation systems in the internal market and supporting cooperation between the EU Member States.

The Customs 2020 programme was established by Regulation No 1294/2013 and is aimed at supporting the functioning of the customs union. The Fiscalis 2020 programme was established by Regulation No 1286/2013 and is aimed at improving the operation of the taxation systems in the internal market and supporting cooperation between the EU Member States.

Establishing the 'Customs' programme 2021-2027

30-11-2018

The impact assessment provides a good overview of the problems facing EU customs cooperation that need to be tackled after 2020, and sets out well the rationale for the new programme. However, the overall analysis is undermined by the limited range of viable options and the absence of a proper comparison of the options and assessment of their impacts, contrary to the Better Regulation guidelines. A more thorough assessment would have helped to better explain the choice of the preferred option.

The impact assessment provides a good overview of the problems facing EU customs cooperation that need to be tackled after 2020, and sets out well the rationale for the new programme. However, the overall analysis is undermined by the limited range of viable options and the absence of a proper comparison of the options and assessment of their impacts, contrary to the Better Regulation guidelines. A more thorough assessment would have helped to better explain the choice of the preferred option.

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