Challenge for freight forwarders: Security services according to the UZK

With the introduction of the Union Customs Code (UZK) as of 01.05.2016, security must be provided for all suspension procedures and temporary custody. This poses major challenges especially for small and medium-sized logistics service providers, such as freight forwarders, carriers, warehouse keepers or customs agents. After all, it is often precisely these companies that are obliged to provide security for foreign goods and customs debts. They should have the measures they can take to minimise costs examined before the expiry of existing transitional arrangements.

Temporary custody security

According to the old customs law, a security was mandatory only for the transit procedure. Under the new customs legislation, all suspensive procedures and temporary storage are now subject to security for possible import duties. According to ECJ case-law, especially forwarders are not entitled to deduct input tax, you would therefore have to provide security not only for customs duties and excise duties but also for import sales tax. Especially small and medium-sized transport service providers who offer temporary custody as a service for their customers, the new legal situation represents a Herculean task.

Reduction of overall safety possible

Collateral may be lodged either individually or in its entirety. Overall security requires the approval of the responsible main customs office and should be the only sensible solution for logistics service providers from an economic point of view. The total amount of the guarantee shall be determined on the basis of a reference amount. In principle, it is possible to reduce the level of overall safety to 50 %, 30 % and 0 %. However, the reduction is linked to certain conditions, which are not least based on the organization and economic performance of the company. Proof must also be provided that sufficient financial resources are available to compensate for the unsecured reference amount.

Prepare yourself now

In Germany, permits for temporary custody under a transitional regime are deemed to have been granted. In order not to be surprised by the end of the transitional arrangements, freight forwarders, carriers and customs agents should take action now. In particular, evidence of work organisation and financial performance should not be available overnight. In some cases, it may also be advisable to apply for AEO status.

Our customs lawyers will be happy to assist you in reviewing your processes and applying for customs approvals. Write to us now or call us

 

Lawyer Dr. Tristan Wegner

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