Union Customs Code

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Community customs legislation changes

Centralized clearance, self-assessment, special procedures – these are just some of the new concepts that open a new chapter in European Union customs legislation from 1 May 2016 through the application of the Union Customs Code. Almost half a year from now, economic operators who conduct export and import customs operations will face changes of a magnitude not seen for decades.

Below we highlight a few significant changes for which you should already start preparing, regardless of the fact that the Community and national legislation related to the implementation of the new customs code is still being formulated.

1. The transformation of customs procedures, new customs simplifications

Perhaps the most conspicuous innovations are those that will affect those economic operators who currently apply customs procedures with economic effect (e.g. inward processing, processing under customs control) or who plan such procedures in the future. In their cases, it is worth keeping in mind, that not only the names of the customs procedures will change (collectively "special procedure"), but also the drawback system of the inward processing relief and processing under customs control customs procedure will be discontinued.

The Union Customs Code will also provide new types of customs simplifications. These – the self-assessment, centralized clearance – can be requested by holders of the customs simplifications type AEO certificate. Through this centralized clearance, economic operators have the possibility to lodge, at a customs office responsible for the place where such person is established, a customs declaration for goods which are presented to customs at another customs office. The self-assessment provides the opportunity to carry out certain customs formalities which are to be carried out by the customs authorities, e.g. to determine the amount of duty payable, or to perform certain controls which used to be the exclusive competence of the customs authority.

2. New rules for Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certificate owners

Serious changes will affect those economic operators, who already have AEO certificates, and also those who plan to obtain this status in the future. Perhaps the most relevant of the changes is that in order to obtain and maintain AEO status, economic operators will be required to demonstrate that they have not violated the tax rules seriously or repeatedly, ensure strict monitoring of their trade in goods, and must prove that their employees have practical competence or professional qualifications. 

The new rules don't only introduce more rigorous criteria; there will also be new benefits to operators with a customs simplification type AEO certificate. Among others, only they will have the opportunity to use centralized clearance customs simplification, and they will receive discounts in connection with the guarantee as well. 

It is worth noting that the type of combined AEO status (AEOF) - which includes customs simplification (AEOC) and the safety and security (AEOS) type of certificates - will be discontinued.

AEO certificates already issued will not lose their validity. However, the customs authorities will review their compliance with the newly established requirements.

3. Customs valuation

Regarding determination of customs value, aspects topics are expected to change significantly: 

  • Due to changes in the concept of transaction value (which has currently not yet been adopted by the European Commission) it will not be possible to determine the value based on previous sales prior to the immediate sale to the Community; 

  • In a sale between affiliated companies, when using the transaction value of value for customs purposes, the circumstances of the sale shall be examined, in order to prove that the relationship did not influence the price (according to the current regulations, investigation of circumstances was not mandatory); 

  • The latest draft of the Union Customs Code Implementing Act does not define exactly what costs are included in the royalty and license fees, thus the current interpretation of these concepts could change the application of the Union Customs Code.





Ready, steady, UCC – The Union Customs Code in brief

The Community Customs Code (CCC), promulgated on 12 October 1992, laid the foundations to the customs policy of European integration. The Union Customs Code (UCC) was adopted almost exactly twenty-one years later, on 9 October 2013. With its substantive provisions having entered into force on 1 May 2016, the UCC has opened a new chapter in EU customs regulations. What is this ‘new chapter’ about? What opportunities does it offer for companies involved in customs activities? What requirements does it prescribe? How does it affect Hungarian customs regulations?

Our e-learning answers these questions, providing a comprehensive overview of the following topics:

  • Customs procedures
  • Simplifications
  • Authorised Economic Operators
  • Customs debt; customs guarantee
  • Customs value
  • Decisions
  • Sanctions

Our e-learning features specialists from PwC Hungary’s Indirect Tax group:

  • Attila Környei, Senior Manager
  • Dr. Dorottya Virág Mák, Senior Consultant
  • Dr. Richárd Molnár, Senior Consultant
  • Béla Peremicki, Consultant

90 minutes (7 modules + test)


Language: Hungarian


Credit points

  • 2| certified public accountant (non-accounting, business)
  • 1| Chamber of Hungarian Auditors
  • 2| tax advisor, tax expert, certified tax expert



Price: HUF 19,000 plus VAT / user


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László Deák

László Deák

Partner, PwC Hungary

László Elkán

László Elkán

Director, PwC Hungary

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