Customs in 2024: Key changes in the EU & UK

Customs in 2024: Key changes in the EU & UK

The new year has many international customs IT-system and process changes in store which may affect your business. We have created an overview of the key upcoming changes in the EU and the UK.

Customs changes in the EU in 2024

Combined Nomenclature (CN)

January 1, 2024 – Changes to Customs Commodity Codes

On October 31, 2023, the EU Commission announced changes to the Combined Nomenclature which included amendments to more than 200 commodity codes. Since January 1, 2024, companies have to report the commodity codes listed in the Annex of the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/2364 of September 26in exports or intra-Community transactions. It is of utmost importance to use the correct commodity codes to prevent incorrect tax assessments and avoid unauthorized exports.

Proof of Union Status system (PoUS)

March 1, 2024 – Replacement of the paper T2L and T2LF document

Phase 1 of the roll-out of a new EU system for union status certificates T2L and T2LF is currently in force and will end on March 1, 2024. From that day onwards, applications for T2L and T2LF union status certificates must be submitted via the new Proof of Union Status system (PoUS). This new system can issue union status certificates as well as provide status information on previously issued union status certificates. Each certificate will be issued with a Movement Reference Number (MRN), which must be reported to customs when importing union goods.

Phase 2 entails the introduction of the electronic Customs Goods Manifesto, which allows requesting and checking of union status certificates for multiple shipments and goods. This phase is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2025.

Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)

January 31, 2024 – Deadline for emissions report covering Q4, 2023

While being in a transitional period until the end of 2025, the first CBAM-requirement is due by the end of this month: the first quarterly report on emissions. A report covering the data of the fourth quarter of 2023 has to be submitted by January 31, 2024 the latest.

The default values that can be used to determine embedded emissions in imported goods (except electricity) covered by CBAM were published by the EU Commission in December 2023.

December 30, 2024 – New regulations on deforestation protection 

The EU regulation on protection against deforestation, announced in the Official Journal of the EU on June 30, 2023, will enter into application on December 30, 2024. It affects imports of cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palms, rubber, soy and timber, as well as products containing palm oil derivatives.

Importing companies will have to prove that their goods have been obtained without deforestation, that they have complied with the legislation of the country it was manufactured in, and that a due diligence declaration in accordance with Annex II has been submitted. 

New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) Phase 5

January 21, 2025 – Implementation of NCTS5

The deadline for implementation of NCTS5 has been moved by another two months to January 21, 2025. During the extended transition phase, the current NCTS system can be used to submit and finalize transit declarations. Phase 5 introduces a number of new features and changes, including new data requirements.

Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)

January 1, 2024 – Update to generalised tariff preferences (extended to end of 2027)

The scheme of generalised tariff preferences under Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 would have expired partially on December 31, 2023, but it was extended until the end of 2027. The extension ensures the current scheme is legally binding until a decision is made on a new arrangement.

Import Control System (ICS) 2

June 3, 2024 – Third release of ICS2

The new Import Control System 2 (ICS2) replaces the previous Import Control System with a UCC-compliant IT system. It was created to collect data about all goods entering the EU prior to their arrival.  

The new system is being operationalized in three releases of which the first two have already been made available to postal operators, express carriers, third-country postal operators, freight forwarding and logistics providers, and air carriers. 

The third release was postponed by two months and is now planned to become available on June 3, 2024.  Transportation companies in maritime, road and rail will also have to declare their goods in ICS2 from that moment onwards.

Customs changes in the UK in 2024

Customs Declaration Service (CDS)

March 30, 2024 – Export declarations on CDS

HMRC is replacing their electronic system for customs declarations. The Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system is being replaced by the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). All import declarations are already being made on CDS. The last day for making export declarations on CHIEF will be March 30, 2024. All businesses should declare goods through CDS from this date.

Border Target Operating Model (BTOM)

January 31, 2024 – Health certifications for certain high and low risk imports from the EU

The introduction of health certification on imports of medium-risk animal products, plants, plant products and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU. This change goes hand in hand with another change which will take effect on the same day: the removal of pre-notification requirements for low-risk plant and plant products from the EU.

January 31, 2024 – Full customs controls for goods imported into mainland Great Britain directly from the Republic of Ireland

The current easements for goods arriving in mainland Great Britain directly from the Republic of Ireland will cease on January 31, 2024. Full customs controls will apply from this date to all goods originating from the Republic of Ireland. This includes the need to use the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS), which will replace the current manual arrivals process.

April 30, 2024 – Physical checks and document checks on animal products, plants, and foods of non-animal originating from the EU

Qualifying goods from non-EU countries will be assessed via a risk-based approach.

October 31, 2024 – Safety and Security (S&S) declarations for imports from the EU

This requirement coming into force goes alongside with the rollout of a single trade window or portal for streamlined pre-arrival datasets. 

BTOM information leaflets for businesses

HMRC has recently published new information sources to help businesses prepare for the new approach to importing goods to Great Britain under the Border Target Operating Model.

EU waiver document codes

January 31, 2024 – Replacement of document code 999L for import declarations

New national and EU waiver document codes will be required for Customs Declaration Service (CDS) import declarations. The national waiver document codes that will replace document code 999L have been published on HMRC's website

Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS)

February 13, 2024 – Release of EMCS Phase 4.1

The handling of excise goods will be affected by multiple changes to systems and processes in 2024.
New changes to EMCS will take effect on February 13, 2024 and temporary arrangements for moving duty-paid goods will end on July 31, 2024.

August 1, 2024 – Electronic processing of movement of duty-paid goods

Moving duty-paid goods under the current transitional arrangements is only possible until 31 July, 2024. The new electronic process, using the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS), will come into effect on August 1, 2024.

Seize the moment: Optimize your customs processes

The long list of 2024 changes in this article are all mandatory changes. Non-compliance can result in goods movements coming to a standstill. Therefore, international traders should start preparing for these changes as early as possible to avoid not being ready in time.

Most of these changes will require companies to assess many aspects of their existing global trade processes. This includes operational processes, partners, suppliers, customers, logistics service providers, IT-systems, data management, etc. It is a great opportunity to not just adapt to mandatory changes, but also to identify efficiency potential that can be included and implemented simultaneously. 

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