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Imports into the EU through Inward Processing

Mar 31, 17 • Customs LawNo Comments

Since May 2016, the new Union Customs Code (UCC) has become the binding customs legislation in the European Union. In the course of the change in the legal situation, the customs administration will review by end-2019 authorizations granted to companies up to May 2016.

New Union Customs Code requires companies to act

This affects all customs proceedings of special relevance. In case of foreign companies, the inward processing procedure should be especially emphasized: Under the inward processing procedure non-Union goods may be imported into the customs territory of the Union for the purpose of processing operations without such goods being subject to duties and charges or commercial policy measures (Art. 256 UCC). The inward processing is carried out when the goods (in an unchanged condition or in the form of processed products) exit the customs territory of the Union.

Each inward processing requires individual authorization

Various conditions need to be fulfilled for obtaining an inward processing authorization. In case a single authorization has been issued, the foreign goods can undergo the following processing operations:

– working of goods;
– assembling of goods;
– processing of goods;
– repair of goods, including restoring them.

The processing operations must be carried out in compliance with the authorization and the particulars stated therein, which means that no processing operations must be carried out other than those permitted by the individual authorization.

Companies should identify errors in recurring processing procedures

In the context of the upcoming review of authorizations issued in the past, which will be performed by the end of 2019, companies should make every effort to check their longstanding processing procedures for errors, and especially internally reassess the processing actually performed against the authorization.

Because one thing is clear: “Errors” easily creep into recurring processing procedures and may be overlooked in the ordinary course of business; however, they may be detected in the course of the review for the next authorization to be granted by the customs authority.
Therefore, all companies are strongly recommended to actively approach the customs authority by way of a preventive inspection. Because, if the customs authorities find errors made over several years, the company will not only have to bear financial consequences. Authorizations required in the future might even be threatened.

We will be pleased to assist you in checking your authorizations so as to ensure that, even in the future, your company will be able to carry out processing procedures in the EU in a legally compliant way. Please do not hesitate to contact us!

Continue reading:
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Stefan Winheller

Attorney Stefan Winheller has specialized in tax law for about 20 years, especially in the areas of cryptocurrencies, foundations/nonprofits and international tax law.

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