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HMRC internal manual

Customs Authorisation and Approval

Legal Framework for Customs authorisations and approvals: The Union Customs Code and its Delegated and Implementing Acts

The Union Customs Code (EU Reg. No. 952/13), hereafter referred to as the Code, replacing the Community Customs Code (Regulation No. 2913/92), sets out the general rules and procedures which apply to goods entering and leaving the Customs territory of the Union.

The Code is a major overhaul of the customs legal framework for the EU and is designed to modernise procedures to take account of electronic developments, simplify operational frameworks for businesses.

The Code sets out the high level framework for Customs matters with the detailed rules and procedures contained in its lower level delegated and implementing acts. Unlike the Community Customs Code (Regulation No 2913/92), the Code has two lower level acts which set out the detailed provisions on the operation of customs matters.

Under the Treaty of Lisbon (2010) article 290, the Commission have the powers to set Delegated Acts. They have the power to adopt these acts directly and do not have to consult on and agree their contents with the Member States. Delegated Acts still have to be voted on by the Council and European Parliament.

The Delegated Act sets out the direction the technical detail of the Code, specifying ‘what’ has to be done in relation to specific customs matters.

Article 291 of the Treaty of Lisbon (2010) provides the empowerment for Implementing Acts. These acts are designed to ensure the uniform application of Customs matters across the Member States. The Implementing Acts set out the detail of ‘how’ customs matters are to be operated. Implementing Act have to be developed in consultation with the Member States and require their agreement.