"Will businesses really benefit"? Customs experts from all over the globe discuss the EU Single Window Environment for Customs' ability to facilitate trade. Here are their questions and what they said.
The EU will expedite customs processes and alleviate economic costs on businesses by improving digital communication among EU border personnel and other agencies unrelated to customs over the next 24 months. Furthermore, with the EU Single Window for Customs, known short as EU CSW-CERTEX, the EU will implement a connected customs-clearing system for European Union. This Regulation, being EU legislation, is immediately applicable in all Member States and must be obeyed.
Webinar with 100+ participants
More than 100 import, export, and transit professionals from all corners of the world, including Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania, USA, Canada, Zimbabwe, Azerbaijan, UK, Ireland, and Germany, joined the CEO of Customs Manager Ltd, Arne Mielken, at the start of the new year, on 5 January 2023 to get a walk through the new REGULATION (EU) 2022/2399 establishing the European Union Single Window Environment for Customs and amending Regulation (EU) No 952/2013. The event took the form of a webinar and was free for all.
Plenty of important topics to discuss
During the one-hour webinar, Arne Mielken delivered a live presentation to the audience and covered the following:
- the critical articles of the Regulation and how they are likely to be implemented
- how the Single Window will work, and what the role of the single national windows is
- the timeline
- what systems/licences will be connected, and more.
Participants were encouraged to send questions before, during and after the webinar to firstname.lastname@example.org and use the chat function.
Participants were invited to ask their most burning questions. Arne provided ad-hoc responses or promised to reply post the event. Here is a list of questions asked and Arne's response:
Evelyn Hayn: Is there an expectation that VAT administration will also be tied into this system?
Arne: This is not foreseen at the moment.
Steph Meyer: Can you share the Customs Manager's YouTube Channel link?
Arne: Sure, here: https://www.youtube.com/c/CustomsManagerLtd
Rey Lock: Why do the EU need a single window? it's a single market, a customs union, and the bulk of your trade is domestic
Arne: But by far not all. Where multiple non-EU systems need to be employed to ensure customs clearance, it makes sense to pool these and connect them.
Manaza Green: Is the single window still at the testing stage? Will this become mandatory at some stage?
Arne: There have been discussions and a pilot project for almost a decade now. The law towards the end of 2022 turns testing into reality. This will be mandatory as per the law.
Beatriz Vega: Are the slides and presentation available after the presentation?
Arne: The presentation recording has been uploaded to our cost-savings & compliance YouTube Channel. Access the recording here. The slides are here.
Philip Bennett: Will it allow imports into many EU countries via just one member state? If so, how have they managed the issue of duty distribution?
Arne: Yes, imports can be imported through one Member State. The duty is passed to the EU coffers.
Danielle Van es: Where does the EU trader portal fit in?
Arne: It is not the same as the EU Customs Trader Portal provides a single access point to the online systems for "Authorised Economic Operators" (AEO), the "European Binding Tariff Information" (EBTI), the Information Sheet on Special Procedures (INF), and Registered Exporter system (REX). These are specific customs systems. They are not directly involved in connecting to non-custom systems. The Customs Trader portal aims to harmonise access to the different EU customs systems. From a more significant point of view, connecting as many systems as possible makes sense.
Reh Kalyegira: Will your Single Window flag when additional data is required for the other government agencies?
Arne: We expect so. In fact, without the required data, no customs declaration can be submitted.
Maeve Connolly: Will this remove the need for the DAFM INIS portal, which is currently completed in addition to the CHED A, P, PP and some CHED Ds in Ireland?
Arne: In the future, it should do. Otherwise, what is the point of the EU Single Window?
Vasillaq Lushka: If an EU country works with a temporary regime with a non-EU country, can they make customs procedures at any EU exit-entry point with an existing EU custom system?
Arne: I think a customs system is needed in any case.
Oliver Häfner: How can systems detect the necessity for a license based on a commodity code? Customs tariff only gives hints as, e.g. thousands of goods are subject to 1 commodity code, like 39269097
Arne: The system only provides a "definitely maybe". It is for you to know if your commodity needs a licence or not and code accordingly.
Jeyhun Najafli: Can non-EU countries participate in a pilot stage?
Arne: I am not sure; I will ask. Please email me at email@example.com to get a reply.
Sonia Olazar: I think that in most cases, economic operators use customs brokers for import/exports, and thus we do not "talk" to any of the systems, but the broker does. Does it mean that the benefits are for customs brokers? How will companies see the benefits?
Arne: The broker is an extended arm of your company. Ultimately, you are responsible for what they do. You instruct them. You provide the data they need to use. They may do the customs clearance, but do they also deal with the veterinary piece or the other non-custom systems? So there are synergies and opportunities for everyone to benefit through streamlined operations.
Many comments are still sceptical about the merits of the EU Single Window Environment for Customs
Participants had a lot to say, too:
Reh Kalyegira from Canada, for example, said, "in Canada, we have been using Single Window, and it has been implemented for years. As you mentioned, it simplifies when accounting for goods to various OGD, i.e., PGA, CFIA, HC etc.".
After viewing the webinar, Malgorzata Raczka, from Hungary, suggested that "it seems like a considerable amount of work invested for a minimal benefit for traders.
Sajmir Laçej stated, after watching the webinar, that the "key issue remains building compatible national single window platform to satisfy EU Single Window. Moreover, considering EU Candidate Countries like Albania is very important to adopt this standard in advance to avoid additional costs in the future".
Isaac Mukanga from Zimbabwe asked: "Do you think there is sufficient buy-in and commitment from EU states in achieving this?
"I wouldn't have missed this webinar in the world" – Positive feedback on the webinar rains in
After the webinar, there was much positive feedback. Steeve Eldred said, "Well done! Many Thanks". For Adam Lockhart, it was a simple "Thank you, Arne! 👏". Agata Drozdz and Christoph Steinke called it a "great webinar". Evelyn Ong: "Thank you for a good job", and Suvjeet Sibia expressed contentment with a simple "ta" 😊 and added, "thanks, great presentation". Beatriz Vega commented: "Great explanation as always". Marc concluded that it was an excellent presentation with explanation, easy to understand".
Missed it? No worries! Watch On-Demand
The event was recorded and made available for on-demand viewing on our YouTube Channel after the event.
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- Factsheet on Single Window
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