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As we have seen in recent news like the Hamamatsu ruling in 2022, the topic of ‘customs value’ is a contentious issue in case law. With the expected introduction of a BCVI in a few years’ time, businesses will have the opportunity to obtain legal certainty regarding the customs value before planned imports, which will help to provide more clarity and transparency on this difficult issue.
On 21 December 2022, as part of its initiative ‘Decisions on Binding Valuation Information - Incorporation into EU Law and Simplification of Customs Formalities’, the European Commission proposed amendments to both the Union Customs Code Delegated Act (UCC-DA) and the Union Customs Code Implementing Act (UCC-IA). The amendments include:
Up to now, EU customs law has provided for the issuance of binding tariff information (BTI) and binding origin information (BOI) in accordance with Article 33 of Regulation (EU) 952/2013 (UCC). Article 35 of the UCC provides for the possibility that the customs authorities may, upon request, also take decisions on binding information relating to factors other than the origin and the customs tariff. However, these are rare exceptional cases.
With the expected introduction of binding customs valuation information on 1 December 2025, the European Commission opens the way for the regular application of such a BCVI by economic operators.
In simplified terms, according to the draft legislation obtained so far, the process will be as follows:
In order to ensure consistency among different types of binding information, the envisaged legal and operational framework for the BCVI decisions is modelled on relevant aspects of the existing BTI and BOI decisions (period of validity of three years throughout the EU, binding for both the holder of the decision and the customs authorities, possibility to suspend a decision due to incorrect information, etc.).
The introduction of binding customs value information would bring about a slew of benefits for businesses:
Requesting binding information can be time-consuming and difficult. Your customs and VAT experts at PwC Switzerland are happy to support you in making your internal customs documentation more legally secure.