07 October 2022


CLECAT, together with other members of the DG TAXUD Trade Contact Group, including the express industry, cargo owners, stakeholders in the air and maritime sector, IT service providers, as well as the American businesses active in Europe, issued a joint letter to Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni for Economy on the reform of the Union Customs Code. The signatories to the letter expressed serious concerns regarding the lack of realistic and sufficient timelines for the UCC IT implementation, and the insufficient consultation with the trade community on the ongoing UCC reform.

The co-signatories recognized the importance of reforming the UCC to stay fit for purpose in a rapidly changing international trade environment, taking the interests of European business, citizens and changing supply chain solutions into account. At the same time, they also considered that an open and constructive exchange between the political, administrative, and operational parties, including TCG members, is the only approach that can result in a successful reform based on realistic objectives and implementation plans.

The EU trade stakeholders acknowledged that the process of the UCC IT implementation needs to be brought to a successful conclusion before entering in a next phase of customs reform. However, trade notes that while any changes in IT systems create significant challenges for both customs administrations and private sector parties, the timelines have not always been realistic, leading to temporary solutions and operational complications.

Furthermore, the coalition of TCG members expressed concerns over the recent lack of communication and meaningful exchange with DG TAXUD on the ongoing preparation of the UCC reform. They noted the urgent need to restore a robust dialogue with all stakeholders, as an essential element for the development of realistic proposals for further reform of the Customs Union. The trade representatives urged the Commission to look at the TCG as a resource that can contribute to a successful reform and follow a due diligence process in terms of trade consultation, to avoid further delays and uncertainty.

The TCG joint letter is available here.