11 June 2021

CLECAT MEETS EP TO DISCUSS EU SINGLE WINDOW FOR CUSTOMS

Today, CLECAT took part in a technical session with the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) to discuss the European Commission’s proposal for EU Single Window Environment for Customs. CLECAT stressed that the Single Window project is of particular interest and great importance for the industry, as it aims to provide for streamlined exchange of information and customs controls, ultimately improving trade facilitation. The Single Window environment has the potential to provide significant benefits for economic operators including simplified processes, time saving, faster clearance and reduction of administrative burden and costs.

CLECAT explained that the Government-to-Government (G2G) element is the most essential part of the Single Window for Customs. It is designed to enhance cooperation and coordination between different authorities involved in goods clearance and make it easier to exchange electronic information submitted by traders. The interconnection between Customs and partner competent authorities will allow the exchange and automatic verification by Customs of supporting documents to the customs declaration that have already been submitted by trade.

If properly designed and implemented, the Business-to-Government (B2G) element could provide great easements for trade by streamlining reporting obligations. The B2G connection will allow economic operators to lodge all the necessary data required by customs and non-customs legislation at a single-entry point. However, while appreciating the significant step forward, CLECAT recognised that there are technical and practical challenges that need to be addressed. A thorough analysis is required to ensure that the B2G aspect of Single Window is effective, providing for the benefits as originally intended instead of creating unnecessary burdens for economic operators.

CLECAT further highlighted the importance of regular monitoring and reporting on the progress of the implementation of the Single Window environment with involvement of trade, as well as the need to be realistic in the timeline for implementation in light of available capacity and technical feasibility.

CLECAT was a member of the Customs 2020 project group on the EU Single Window Environment for Customs, which aimed to study a possible framework to develop the EU Single Window environment for customs including the legal context.