The new EU customs code: a challenge for the ship supply industry

February 9, 2024

On 17 May 2023, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend the new EU Customs Code (CAU), with the the objective of simplifying customs procedures, harmonise the risk management system and improve the collection and control of e-commerce.

However, this reform also poses major challenges for the sector of ship supply, which will be affected by the shortening of the time that cargo can be in temporary storage and the increase in customs obligations.

In this article, we explain how the new CAU can affect our activity as a ship supply company, which consists of supplying all types of products and services to ships arriving in or departing from EU ports, be they military, cargo, fishing, salvage, research or passenger vessels.

We also tell you what measures we are supporting to defend our competitiveness and that of EU terminals and ports, which are key to the development of maritime trade.

What is ship provisioning and why is it important?

Vessel provisioning is a the activity of supplying ships with everything they need for their operation and the well-being of their crews., from food and beverages, to spare parts, fuel, sanitary materials, security equipment or cleaning services.

This activity is essential to ensure operationality and efficiency and to comply with international safety, health and environmental regulations.

In addition, the ship supply contributes to the economic and social development of the territories where ports are located, generating employment, income and business opportunities.

Interseas, such as ship supply, has extensive experience, a network of partners, efficient logistics and a diversified stock that allows us to meet the needs of crews of any nationality.

Our aim is to offer a quality, fast and personalised service, adapting to the demands of our clients and market conditions.

What changes does the new EU customs code introduce and how do they affect us?

The new CAU is a reform that seeks to modernise and simplify EU customs procedures, in order to facilitate trade, improve security and control, and adapt to digitisation and the growth of e-commerce. Among the main changes introduced by the new CAU, the most important of which are as follows:

  • The introduction of a single electronic system for the customs data management, which will allow a increased interoperability and traceability of operations.
  • The harmonisation of the risk management system, which will establish common criteria for the selection and control of goods, as well as for cooperation between customs authorities and other agencies.
  • The improving the collection and control of e-commerce, which will involve the application of VAT to all imports of low-value goods, the obligation for payment service providers to provide information on cross-border payments, and the creation of a special regime for operators of online platforms facilitating distance sales.
  • The simplification of customs procedures, which will entail the reduction of deadlines and reporting requirements for customs declarations, the extension of single authorisation possibilities, and the elimination of certain exemptions and special regimes.

These changes can have a positive impact on the EU’s external trade, by reducing costs and transaction times, increasing security and transparency, and adapting to new market trends.

However, can also pose a challenge for the ship supply industry, which will be affected by two measures in particular:

  • Thereduction of the period the cargo may be stored in a temporary warehouse, from 90 days to between 3 and 6 days, depending on the type of goods and the means of transport. That means more pressure to meet delivery deadlines and less flexibility to adapt to customer demands.
  • The increase in customs obligations of temporary storage operators, which shall provide more information on the goods the EU should ensure their security and traceability, and assume further responsibilities in the event of non-compliance or infringement. This translates into more administrative and operational costs.

These measures can have a negative effect on the competitiveness of terminals and ports in the EU, which could lose their attractiveness for maintaining and increasing cargo flows in favour of third countries, according to industry organisations.

What measures are we supporting to defend our competitiveness and that of EU terminals and ports?

Faced with this situation, our company, support the amendments proposed by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the European Parliament, which seek to maintaining the 90-day limit on deposits temporary and simplifying reporting requirements for operators of customs warehouses.

We believe that these amendments are necessary to preserve operability and profitability of our business, as well as to ensure the supply of quality products and services to ships operating in EU ports.

We hope that these amendments will be approved by the plenary of the European Parliament and by the EU Council, and that the voice of ship supply companies, which are a key link in the logistics chain and in the development of maritime trade, will be taken into account.

Want to know more about ship procurement and how we can help you?

If you want to find out more about ship procurement and how we can help you, we invite you to visit our web section, where you will find more information about our products and services, our customers, our partners and our projects. You can also contact us via our form, telephone or email, and we will be happy to answer your queries and provide you with a personalised quote.

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