Updated customs rules for European Union

Until recently, the exporter on the “export customs declaration” could be a person/entity established in a country outside the EU. However, recently the “exporter definition” was changed by the customs authorities. As a result, only EU-established persons/entities can be mentioned as exporter on the customs declaration for export as of 1 October 2020.

Recommended actions

Non-EU established companies that currently function as exporter for customs exports declarations can no longer sign the customs exports documents. It is our experience that if you have an EXWORKS shipment, the shipper is most likely not willing to sign the customs exports declarations. As a result for goods from Europe, you/your client should review whether an EU-established person or entity can take over the position of exporter. In this case, the contractual arrangements with such entity should include the exporter function. In addition, the current set up and programming of the export declaration has to be amended as well.

Consequently, we recommend you to contact all non-EU established clients to have their delivery terms changed to FCA for all export shipments from the EU as of 1 October 2020. With this change, the exporter will be responsible for the export customs clearance for the shipments and for providing the legally signed ‘agreement direct representation’ that we need to complete the export clearance. It is noteworthy in light of Brexit, where UK-established entities will no longer qualify as EU-established and will therefore not be able to act as exporter for exports from an EU Member State anymore.

In summary

to prevent delays: in case the delivery term cannot be changed to FCA a forwarder can only issue export customs documents with authorization to act as direct representative, signed by a EU-established exporter provided by you/your client.

We hope to have informed you sufficiently.