Customs warehouse operators must crack new code


The latest raft of EU customs legislation to impact on the third party logistics sector will start to come in to effect from May of this year.

The Union Customs Code (UCC) has been introduced to consolidate and modernise customs legislation and provide a legal basis for electronic communications, which will become the norm throughout the European Union.

The code will have a significant effect on the way some of Britain’s customs warehouses operate, says the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA), the trade body representing the UK’s logistics industry.

Barbara Scott of Customs Associates, UKWA’s Honorary Advisers on Customs Issues, commented: “The UCC is intended to standardize more practices within the Community, which means that not only must more control come from Brussels, but also that procedures and communication systems must be aligned within the member states to ensure that traders have access to the same facilities.

“But, logistics service providers who operate in more than one member state will know how very different the processes are and how this is ideology will be difficult to achieve!”

There are three major changes contained within the UCC that will affect customs warehouse operators in the UK:
•  Customs warehouse facilities must be re-authorised by May 2019;
•  A guarantee to cover the potential duty on the goods stored in the warehouse   will become a mandatory requirement;
•  The need for import supplementary declarations to be made to HMRC will be removed from May this year.

As with so much legislation of this nature, the possible consequences of the UCC for UK businesses is shrouded in ambiguity, as Barbara Scott explains:

“The reduction in import supplementary reporting to HMRC certainly sounds like great news.  However, the business system must still be populated with the customs data and Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) providers currently expect that traders will continue to have to update their systems as they do at present but the data will simply not be sent to CHIEF – the processing system of customs declarations.”

UKWA warns that the UCC is likely to bring about a number of other changes – some of which are not fully understood yet – that could impact upon customs warehouse operators.

“We are still waiting for guidance from Customs on a number of issues but HMRC itself is waiting for explanations from the Commission,” says Barbara Scott.

Third party warehouse operators can learn more about the various ways in which the UCC is likely affect their business by visiting the UKWA website – or by contacting UKWA’s Commercial Manager, Shoaib Vakil, on 0207 636 8856.

Editors’ notes:
About The United Kingdom Warehousing Association
With over 600 member companies, the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) is the UK’s only trade association dedicated to serving the vitally important warehousing and logistics sector. Established in 1944, the Association’s members control nearly 100 million square feet of warehousing space from nearly 1300 locations across the UK. Although originally established as a trade body for the third party warehousing sector, the Association now embraces all companies that operate a warehousing or distribution facility. Membership is not restricted to those companies based within the borders of the United Kingdom.

Association Contact:
Peter Ward
Chief Executive Officer, UKWA
Tel: 0207 636 8856

Media Contact:
Lloyd Arkill
Arkill Matthews Allen Ltd
Tel: 01923 777897