Solid routines – Key to successful
UCC implementation

UCC primarily focuses on two things: Permits and Digitalization. Managing all these changes requires that you take control of your routines. If not, the job can be both costlier and cause unnecessary disturbances in your daily operations. But what are the key areas to focus on? What questions should you be asking?


This is a routine, and this is why you have them

A routine is a regular way of doing things in a particular order. For customs it includes how to select commodity codes, calculate customs value, determine origin, make an export declaration, manage a customs warehouse, handle an inward processing activity, pay the customs bill or perform quality controls on declarations submitted previously.

Routines are a helpful tool to determine how you should do something that is often done over and over again on a regular basis. They may be straightforward or more complicated. They may be verbal or documented, including diagrams and screen prints. Their objective is to ensure efficiency and compliance while reducing personnel dependencies.

Good routines

Good customs routines should be written for the company employees that might be involved in the work that they cover, and not for customs officers or other more external parties. They should clearly state the purpose of the activity, the situations where they should be used, who should perform the work, and how to perform the activity in concrete terms; this may include referring to detailed work instructions.

Another helpful element is to also include what to do when the situation is not as it should be, or to refer to additional background information that could assist a new user or a situation where the activity that the routine covers occurs less frequently.

Finally, really good routines are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they are aligned with actual underlying business practices. They are also known by all who may be required to use them.

UCC and routines

The new EU-wide customs legislation, Union Customs Code (UCC), which will apply from 1 May 2016, will affect all EU-based companies trading with customers and/or suppliers outside the EU. During its implementation period from 1 May 2016 to 31 December 2020, UCC will affect almost all customs permits and customs declarations by way of datasets and/or software. This in turn will require companies to review their customs processes and routines connected to these matters.

KGH can help you find the way forward

If you lack the in-house expertise or resources to evaluate your business’s needs, KGH is able to support you through the process.


What to consider when reviewing customs routines for UCC impact

  • Do your routines reflect actual current business practices?
  • Are your routines known by those who may need to use them, including alternates?
  • Does UCC present new opportunities for you to manage your customs-related activities?
  • How will new customs permits affect your daily work?
  • How will new customs declaration data-sets affect your daily work as regards submitting that information?
  • How will new customs software affect your daily work?
  • Do you have sufficient knowledge to adapt or update your customs routines in line with UCC requirements?
  • Would an AEO status facilitate your process of migrating over to the new UCC legislation?


Catharina Olofsson, Consulting Director

Posted by KGH Customs, 3 years ago



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