UCC – Impact on Software

During the UCC implementation phase, scheduled to take place between 1 May 2016 and 31 December 2020, it will be assumed that all operators submitting customs declarations have updated their customs declaration software. But how will the UCC affect other business systems? Data quality, for instance, will be another key element in future compliance with the regulations, as the various customs administrations will have greater capacity to validate and monitor the data they receive.

The implementation of the new Union Customs Code (UCC) will have an impact on all customs procedures. In this article we would like to draw your attention to a few things you need to be aware of in respect of the impact the UCC will have on the software you use in your day-to-day business.


Customs declaration systems

All the EU’s national customs authorities are currently assessing their declaration management systems in order to identify changes that need to be made. One major change will involve converting all manual communications to electronic messages. The assessments must also take into account the new datasets that will be required in the different types of declarations. Furthermore, there will be new methods for declaring goods for import and export, such as Centralised Clearance and Self-Assessment. What this all means is that we must upgrade the customs declaration systems we use.

Impact on other business systems

Other business systems that provide data elements needed in the customs process may also be affected. This applies regardless of whether your company is producing the customs declarations itself or your data is being provided to a customs representative who submits the declarations on your behalf. Since more data will be required, this will be extracted from new or existing or data systems. In some cases, data will be needed that is not available in present-day data systems, in which case you will need to find a way to capture this data. Additionally, where your business systems are interlinked to a customs declaration system, you will probably need to remap both where the data is extracted from and where it is directed to.

Quality of data

The quality of the data provided to the customs authorities will continue to be of great importance. As the new UCC system-based solutions are implemented, the customs authorities will have greater means for monitoring and validating the data provided by the various operators. This means that errors in, for instance, classification, customs value and origin will be more easily detected.

Importance of keeping informed

In order for you to identify the impact that the UCC will have on your business, it will be very important for you to keep informed. Information from the EU, national customs authorities, software providers and customs representatives may well prove crucial to ensuring a smooth transition to the new system-based solutions. Additionally, you will need to have an understanding of your future business needs to the extent that these relate to customs processes in order to enable sound decision-making.


Most of the system-based solutions are to be implemented in the latter part of the transitional phase, which will result in many change processes taking place during 2018-2020. It is difficult to draw up a timeline, however, as the timings for some of the changes will be determined by the EU whilst others are to be determined by the Member States. It will therefore be of the utmost importance to consult both the Commission and the national customs authorities in the Member States where you conduct business that is affected by the customs regulations.

KGH can help you to 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.


Four action points for consideration

  • If using your own customs declaration system, consult your software provider to ensure that they will have a solution once the new systems are implemented. Also, identify the kinds of costs that will be associated with future upgrades.
  • If using customs representatives, ensure that they are aware of and have a plan for implementing the changes connected with the UCC.
  • Ensure that you have the data elements defined in the dataset specifications of the UCC and that the data used is valid.
  • Identify who it is internally that has competency in customs processes and ensure that you are monitoring developments.


Catharina Olofsson, Consulting Director

Posted by KGH Customs, 3 years ago



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