Members' Research Service By / September 25, 2023

Establishing a EU Customs Data Hub [EU Legislation in Progress]

Customs policy plays a central role in the history of the European Union (EU). Already in 1957, the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) – the Treaty of Rome – provided for the introduction of a customs union, that is, the elimination of customs duties and restrictions on the import and export of goods between the six founding Member States and the introduction of a common external tariff vis-à-vis trade with third countries.

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Written by Pieter Baert (1st edition).

A massive increase in trade volumes – in particular thanks to the rise of e-commerce – combined with the fast growing number of EU standards that need to be checked at the border and continuously evolving trade strategies have put EU customs authorities under a lot of pressure in recent times. Concerns have been raised that the EU’s customs union is burdened by fragmented digitalisation, suboptimal coordination between national authorities and overall complexity, leaving traders with high administrative compliance costs and criminals with opportunities to commit fraud. To tackle these issues, the European Commission tabled a customs reform package on 17 May 2023. Along with a number of other provisions, key to the reform would be the establishment of an EU customs authority, which would oversee a new customs data hub. This would entail a more centralised and digitalised approach to customs that should lower compliance costs for traders, free up resources for national authorities and ensure a more efficient, strengthened and fraud-proof customs union.

The proposal is subject to the ordinary legislative procedure, requiring the support of both the Council of the EU and the European Parliament, following consultation of the European Economic and Social Committee. Within the Parliament, the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) is working on the file.


Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the Union Customs Code and the European Union Customs Authority, and repealing Regulation (EU) No 952/2013
Committee responsible:Internal Market and Consumer ProtectionCOM(2023) 258
Rapporteur:Deirdre Clune (EPP, Ireland)2023/0156(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Maria Grapini (S&D, Romania)
Catharina Rinzema (Renew, the Netherlands)
Anna Cavazzini (Greens/EFA, Germany)
Anne-Sophie Pelletier (The Left, France)
Ordinary legislative procedure
(COD) (Parliament and Council
on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Draft report

EU legislation in progress

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