Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Strasbourg, 4 October 2022

The EU “Single Window” for customs aims to facilitate trade, reduce administrative burdens and improve digital cooperation between authorities.

Under the “‘EU Single Window Environment for Customs” regulation, businesses and traders will be able to fulfil all of their documentary requirements in one portal through which relevant authorities will be able to efficiently check the trader’s information.

Today, plenary endorsed the political agreement reached in May with 618 votes in favour, 2 against and 3 abstentions.

Currently, the formalities required at the EU’s borders are often complex, cumbersome and lengthy, for both traders and national authorities. Issues of interoperability between authorities are major obstacles to progress on the digital single market and to the aim of integrated and coordinated customs management.

With the EU “Single Window”, customs and other authorities could automatically and digitally verify that the goods in question comply with EU requirements and that the necessary formalities have been completed, thus allowing for a fully coordinated approach to goods clearance and a clearer overview at EU level of the exported and imported goods.

The rules include strong guarantees to ensure that the systems are designed and interconnected with high levels of cybersecurity and protection of personal data.

Next steps

The Council needs to formally adopt the regulation, before it is signed and published in the EU Official Journal. The intergovernmental component of the Single Window will come into effect by 2025, while the business-to-government scheme will be accessible at a later stage.

Background

The EU Single Window initiative, presented by the Commission on 28 October 2020, is a part of a wider plan to modernise and strengthen customs controls in the Union. The rules come at a time where the COVID-19 crisis and sanctions against Russia have highlighted the importance of having an agile yet strong Customs Union, and new challenges related to digitisation and e-commerce, such as online fraud, emerge.

Following the recent recommendations for a more modern and efficient Customs Union put forward by the EU’s Wise Persons’ Group on the future of Customs, the Commission has vowed to table a package of proposals to modernise the Customs Union by the end of the year.

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