Union Customs Code

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Regulation (EU) No. 952/2013

Title: Regulation (EU) No. 952/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 October 2013 laying down the Union Customs Code
(not official)
Customs Code of the European Union
Customs Code UCC
Scope: EU
Legal matter: Customs law
Basis: TFEU , in particular Articles 33 , 114 and 207
Procedure overview: European Commission
European Parliament
To be used from: October 30, 2013
Reference: OJ L 269 of October 10, 2013, pp. 1–101
Full text Consolidated version (not official)
basic version
Regulation has entered into force and is applicable.
Please note the information on the current version of legal acts of the European Union !

The Union Customs Code (UZK abbreviation for Union Customs Code ) is Regulation (EU) No. 952/2013. As a basic legal act, together with the delegated regulation and the associated implementing regulations, it forms the customs law of the European Union . The Customs Code regulates the functioning of the customs authorities, central customs clearance, customs debt law, special customs procedures, electronic data exchange and data storage in customs practice. The Union Customs Code has been applicable since May 1, 2016 and will gradually replace the previous procedures by 2020.

The customs code is the summary and harmonization of all customs regulations and thus serves the customs union of the European Union. Based on the concept of the internal market , the code contains general provisions, procedural rules and other regulations that ensure the application of customs, tariff and other measures that have been adopted in the context of the movement of goods between the Union and third countries.

Significant changes to the previous Customs Code

  • Adaptation of terminology (Union goods, Union territory)
  • Standardization and reduction to three customs procedures (previously five)
  • Electronic data exchange and data storage will become the rule (with transition periods until the end of 2020)
  • A more balanced division of the provisions between the basic act and the implementing regulations
  • Introduction of further procedural simplifications
  • More business-friendly customs debt law
  • Facilitation of central customs clearance
  • Elimination of differential customs clearance with outward processing
  • Task in favor of the state treasury
  • Introduction of administrative sanctions

Existing approvals and decisions will remain in place, but are expected to be reassessed until May 1, 2019.

Verbal customs declarations are actually not required for the import of commercial (postal) consignments. It only applies to goods that are carried in luggage and whose value does not exceed 1,000 euros or whose weight does not exceed 1,000 kg.

New authorization requirements apply to the Authorized Economic Operator. The company's customs officer must demonstrate practical or professional qualifications.

The requirements for supplier declarations and long-term supplier declarations are also contained in the Union Customs Code. The wording of the declarations does not change. Long-term supplier declarations can be valid for up to two years after the date of issue (previously one year). Retroactive long-term supplier declarations can only be issued if the start of the delivery period was not more than one year ago.

Binding customs tariff information is valid for three years (previously six years) and is binding for both the customs administration and the holder.


The internal tariffs between the states mentioned were gradually reduced (1938: 33%; 1960: 7%; 1990: 1.2%), and after many years of negotiations, the first common customs tariff was created in 1968 , to which the national external tariffs were gradually adapted.

On January 1, 1962, a first customs law was passed, the main aim of which was to simplify and accelerate the customs procedures of the individual member states. The most important long-term goal, however, was the common internal market within the EU. This goal was achieved with the uniform and generally applicable customs code, which replaced the substantive customs law of the individual member states on January 1, 1993.

In 2008 the Modernized Customs Code (MZK) was published, which should be applied from 2013. The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on December 1, 2009 and delays in the development of EU-wide IT systems required a framework for further interim solutions. The European Commission agreed with the Council and Parliament in 2013 on the Union Customs Code, which will apply from May 1, 2016. The transition period for adapting the IT systems will end on December 31, 2020.

Effects on the law of the Member States

As a regulation according to Art. 288 Paragraph 2 TFEU, the Customs Code is generally applicable and binding in all parts and has direct effect in all EU member states without the need for national implementation measures. Due to the priority of application of Union law, the Customs Code supersedes different national provisions in its area of ​​application. National regulations are therefore only applicable in this area if nothing else is stipulated in the Customs Code or if reference is made to applicable law (Art. 4 No. 23) , or if there is a reference in Art. 245 CC. In Germany this mainly affects the provisions of the tax code . German law was amended in 2015 as part of the Customs Code Adaptation Act (Act to adapt the tax code to the Union Customs Code and to amend other tax regulations).

See also


  • Peter Witte, Hans-Michael Wolffgang (Ed.): Textbook of European customs law . 6th edition. NWB, Herne 2009, ISBN 3-482-43546-4 .
  • Olaf Hartenstein, Fabian Reuschle (Hrsg.): Handbook of the specialist lawyer . 2nd Edition. Transport and forwarding law. Carl Heymanns, Cologne 2012, ISBN 978-3-452-27562-2 , Chapter 20: Customs law.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The Annual Tax Act 2015