With the Customs reform plan, the European Commission aims to reduce compliance costs for customs administrations and businesses through simplified and modernized customs procedures, while mitigating the risks of circumvention to protect the financial and non-financial interests of the EU and the integrity of the EU Single Market.

Key features of the proposal

As part of the plan to simplify and modernize customs procedures, the European Commission has proposed the following key changes:

  • An EU Customs Data Hub will be established. The EU Customs Data Hub is a single EU interface where traders can submit customs data. When implemented, traders will only have to deal with one IT system and one set of procedures
  • An EU Customs Authority will be established to mitigate the risks of circumvention and fraud. The EU Customs authority will become responsible for conducting the EU risk management and coordinating operational crisis management
  • The concept of a ‘Trust and Check’ trader will be introduced. These traders need to provide real-time data on the movement of their consignment. In return, these traders benefit from reduced administrative burdens and simplified customs formalities
  • The introduction of a modernized and more transparent approach to e-commerce import processes. Digital platforms will be considered deemed importers and must report e-commerce sales to customs
  • The customs duty exemption for goods up to EUR 150 will be abolished. E-commerce business can opt to use the simplified tariff treatment for calculating the customs duties for low value goods

What can the Customs reform mean for your business?

  • Designating digital platforms as deemed importers will shift the responsibility for fulfilling customs formalities and paying customs duties to these digital platforms
  • If the EU Customs Data Hub is established, traders will no longer have to deal with the IT systems of 27 separate national customs administrations, simplifying and streamlining customs processes
  • In the EU Customs Data Hub, supporting documents can be submitted once for multiple consignments, reducing administrative burdens
  • If traders qualify as a ‘Trust and Check’ trader, they enjoy more facilitation such as fewer physical and document-based controls and they may release the goods on behalf of the customs authorities, further simplifying and streamlining customs processes
  • Opting for the simplified tariff treatment for e-commerce goods can simplify imports and reduces the amount of customs duty categories into five categories for low value goods


The Customs reform proposal by the European Commission follows the ordinary EU legislative procedure, meaning the European Parliament and European Commission must vote on the proposal. If the proposal is formally adopted, it is expected that parts of the proposal will enter into force from 2028. Subsequently, it is projected that the EU Customs Data Hub will be implemented for most traders in 2032, becoming mandatory in 2038.

Further information

Should you have any questions about the Customs reform proposal published by the European Commission and/or should you require any assistance in the field of Customs & International trade, please feel free to contact us.