CLECAT, representing the Freight Forwarding and Customs brokerage sector in Europe, calls on the European Commission to take measures related to customs formalities to ensure the flow of essential goods across the EU borders.
As recognised by an EU Emergency Transport Council on 18th March 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak has a major impact on transport which in turn affects the whole EU economy, because of disruptions of supply chains. Keeping cargo flows running is vital for public health and the economy. Customs plays a major role in safeguarding the security of supplies and the integrity of the supply chains. The Freight Forwarding and Customs Brokerage sector, which ensures the fulfilment of Customs formalities jointly with authorities, urgently requires additional measures, support and communication to keep cargo flows runnin
Dominique Willems, CLECAT’s Senior Manager noted: ‘We have written to Commissioner Gentiloni asking to take initiatives towards Customs authorities to encourage them to allow for delayed and other related taxes and payments.’ ‘We have noted that across Europe, governments have announced measures which allow the delayed payment of taxes such as income tax, corporate tax and VAT. Unfortunately, no such measures were announced in relation to Customs duties and other related taxes and payments.’
He continued: ‘our members are also urgently calling for the extension and flexibility in deadlines for Customs procedures and other formalities. Due to long waiting times at external and internal EU borders, reduced capacity for the public and private sector, general disruption in transport and at the same time a major increase of certain goods, deadlines for closure of Customs procedures cannot be met in all cases. The issue is especially pressing in relation to Transit procedures but is also affecting other procedures. If no such action would be taken, additional Customs debts and administrative burden will occur, putting an even heavier strain on supply chains.’
To read the entire letter, click here: CLECAT Letter to EU Commission