The EU Customs Reform introduces the Trust and Check trader status. These traders shall grant the customs authorities access to their electronic systems keeping record of their compliance and the movement of their goods. In return, they got certain benefits, notably the possibility to release the goods on behalf of customs and to defer the payment of the customs debt.
This proposed new status can be seen as an evolution of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) authorization.
An EU importer or exporter, who meets the following criteria and has conducted regular customs operations for the last three years, may apply for the status of Trust and Check trader:
Looking to article 25 of the UCC proposal, about ‘Granting the status of Trust and Check trader’, it seems that this status will be granted only to importer and exporter. However, article 27 (3) provides that ‘A customs representative having the status of Trust and Check trader shall only be recognized as such when acting as indirect representative. When acting as a direct representative, the customs representative may be recognized as Trust and Check trader if the person in whose name and on whose behalf that representative is acting has been granted such status’.
In our point of view, who can become Trust and Check trader is confusing and should be clarified in the UCC proposal.
What are the benefits, listed in the UCC reform, to become a Trust and Check trader?
The status of authorised economic operator for customs simplifications (AEO-C) will be replaced by the Trust and Check trader status. The AEO-C authorisation can still be granted until 1 March 2024, but by 31 December 2037, customs shall assess if the AEO-C fulfil the conditions to become Trust and Check trader. If it does not fulfil these conditions, the AEO-C status is revoked.
It is always difficult to give a general answer to the question if this new status is interesting for companies or not. As usual, this status could be interesting for some companies and less for others. We think that it can be interesting for companies that are directly lodging the customs declaration without the use of a customs representative, but it could be interesting also for customs representatives. However, for customs representatives this status is interesting if the company they represent has also obtained this status…
Please note that this is still a proposal and moreover we are still also waiting for a proposal for delegated and implementing act.