Advance rulings on customs valuation in the EU | Deloitte Netherlands

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Advance rulings on customs valuation in the EU

What you need to know about the recent legislative initiative

The European Commission has drafted legislation enabling advance rulings on customs valuation in the European Union (EU). The main elements of the legislative draft and its potential business implications are discussed in more detail below.

Advance rulings on customs valuation in the EU: the background

On 21 December 2022, the European Commission (Commission) has recently made public a preliminary legislative draft regarding binding information in the field of customs valuation. This draft seeks to implement Article 35 of the Union Customs Code (UCC), which, in broad terms, envisages the possibility of advance rulings with respect to factors other than tariff classification and origin. The latter two have been in existence in the EU since 1991 (binding tariff information) and 1996 (binding origin information) respectively.

Due to the absence of the required delegated acts, Article 35 of the UCC has remained dormant. The Commission draft contains the necessary amendments to the UCC Delegated Act, in order to make Article 35 of the UCC operational in the field of customs valuation. This is in line with the internationally agreed standards on trade facilitation, as contained in the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

The main elements of the Commission draft on binding valuation information

The Commission draft provides that customs authorities

“shall, upon application, take decisions relating to binding valuation information (‘BVI decisions’), providing the appropriate method of customs valuation or criteria, and the application thereof, to be used for determining the customs value of goods under particular circumstances”.

A BVI decision thus taken would be binding, in respect of the determination of the customs value of the goods, on the customs authorities, as against the holder of the decision, as well as on the holder of the decision, as against the customs authorities.

The procedural mechanics of such BVI decisions (application, validity, annulment, revocation) are modelled on the provisions related to binding tariff and origin information, which would be familiar to most customs practitioners.

The legislative draft envisages the BVI mechanism to become applicable as of 1 December 2025.

Impact on business

The introduction of advance rulings on customs valuation in the EU could increase transparency and predictability in the administration of EU customs law. It could offer significant benefits for businesses, especially for those operating in different EU Member States. As a BVI decision taken in one EU Member State would be binding on customs authorities in all Member States, it would give importers and exporters legal certainty that they would be treated in the same way across the EU, in respect of the factors covered by such a decision. From the draft it appears that BVI’s issued will not be publicly accessible, as currently also the case with BOI’s.

However, the success of this mechanism would largely depend on how it is implemented by the national customs authorities in practice. The current wording of the legislative draft offers a significant room for interpretation regarding the circumstances that can potentially be covered by a BVI decision, as well as its applicability in the context of a particular customs procedure.

How we can help

Deloitte’s Global Trade Advisory specialists are part of a global network of professionals who provide specialised assistance in global trade and customs matters. If you would like to know more about the introduction of advance rulings on customs valuation in the EU or discuss its impact on your business, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts.

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