Union Customs Code

If you import or export goods you need to be aware of the Union Customs Codes (UCC) which came into effect accross the EU on 1 May 2016. It imposes changes to import, export and storage of goods procedures.

The most important change is the requirement to provide a financial guarantee (security) to HMRC for the potential customs duty due. Businesses who hold Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)  status do not have to provide that duty guarantee. Also under the UCC shipments for AEO businesses are given to priority clearance, as fewer customs inspections are required.

The AEO is “trusted trader” status. It already exists but not many businesses bother to apply. Any AEO authorisations already in place will continue to apply until their expiry date (normally 3 years). It will now be worthwhile applying for AEO status.