Union Customs Code (UZK) and customs value – amendments

The Union Customs Code (UCC), which has been applicable since 1 May 2016, brings about some changes in the area of customs valuation law. The European Commission has recently published non-binding guidelines for determining the customs value under the new legislation. The changes relate in particular to the relevant purchase transaction in the transaction value method and the consideration of royalties.

Decisive is the purchase transaction prior to shipment to the EU

The most important of the customs valuation methods is still the transaction value method. Accordingly, the determination of the customs value is now determined by the purchase transaction that took place immediately before the goods were brought into the European Union. The Commission clarifies in the guidelines that it is not a question of clearance for free circulation, since physical movement is decisive. Accordingly, the purchase transaction before being brought into the EU is also decisive if a second purchase transaction has taken place after being brought but before being cleared for free circulation within the Union.

The declaration of so-called pre-acquisition transactions, in which the declarant can choose one of several purchase transactions for export to the Union, is now ruled out in principle. Under certain conditions, a pre-acquisition transaction can still be registered under a transitional arrangement until December 31, 2017.

Additions to licence fees

In future, licence fees are to be added to the customs value if the buyer has to pay them either directly or indirectly in accordance with the terms of the purchase transaction for the goods to be valued, insofar as the licence fees are not included in the price. In certain cases, it is refutably presumed that a royalty is paid as under the terms of the purchase transaction. This is particularly the case if the goods cannot be sold to or purchased by the buyer without payment of the licence fees.

A connection between the seller and the recipient of the license payment is therefore no longer necessary.

The Commission sets out further explanations and examples in the guidelines in order to ensure uniform application of customs valuation law.

O&W Attorneys at Law will be happy to advise you on your business under the new Union Customs Code (UZK)

 

Lawyer Dr. Tristan Wegner

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