The Union Customs Code for Swiss companies

The European Union’s customs legislation should have been reformed for some time. In the second attempt it has now worked. There are relevant changes in customs procedures, especially for companies based in the European Union. Since Switzerland is a”third country” vis-à-vis the European Union, companies from Switzerland can only make customs declarations and make use of procedures in the European Union to a limited extent anyway. For companies from Switzerland, the new customs law is therefore more likely to present itself as”old wine in new bottles”. Nevertheless, there are isolated changes that are also important from a Swiss perspective.

Swiss companies as exporters

A currently unresolved problem for Swiss companies arises when goods are purchased by a German company”ex works” (EXW) and then transported to Switzerland or another third country. During. There are different legal opinions between the European Commission and the Federal Republic of Germany as to whether the Swiss company may or must submit an export declaration.

New liability risks

A very significant and often overlooked change is the extension of customs debt collection for (indirect) false declarations to the customs authorities. Exporters and logistics service providers from Switzerland should take precautions to ensure that no incorrect information is provided to their customers and the customs authorities. Otherwise they may themselves be held liable although they are not declarants.

Changes in customs value and customs clearance close to the border

A new special feature is the handling close to the border. This may soon no longer be possible for Swiss companies in the German hinterland. There has also been a decisive change in customs value and pre-acquisition prices. This has recently become a real competitive disadvantage for companies from Switzerland. This is because their customers now have to declare from Switzerland, including the company’s profit margin.

Lawyer Dr. Tristan Wegner

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