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The Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency issues operating instructions for economic operators in view of Brexit

  • Italy
  • Brexit
  • Competition, EU and Trade

19-01-2021

The Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency (in Italian Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli – “ADM or Agency) has recently published  Note No. 49 (the Note), containing some relevant operating instructions for economic operators willing to perform export operations in the wake of Brexit. The instructions are based on the provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement concluded between the EU and the UK on 24 December 2020 (the Agreement). Their principal aim is to simplify export procedures and recall the applicable EU provisions that allow a speeding-up of customs procedures.

General operating instructions

First of all, the ADM has clarified that, starting from the end of the Brexit transition period (11pm on 31 December 2020), all the authorizations released by the Agency to UK based entities on the basis of their establishment in the EU shall be void.

The ADM has then highlighted that the transport of goods between the UK and the EU shall be subject to the rules established for the relationships between the EU and third countries. Therefore, all operations shall be subject to the previous authorization to be issued by the Customs Decisions System (CDS).

In order to speed-up the operations, all economic operators have been invited to issue their request for authorization to access one of the applicable special regimes well in advance of the carrying out of the export operations. To this end, operators have been requested to use the Trader Portal, so as to allow the competent offices of the Agency to carry out the verifications needed in time – notwithstanding the possibility of requesting a retroactive authorization according to Art. 211 para. 2 of the EU Customs Code (Regulation No. 952/2013).

Proof of preferential origin

As is widely known, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement has established a general principle according to which the movement of goods between EU and UK shall not be subject to the payment of customs duties. The same Agreement has therefore provided for some specific rules aimed at establishing the origin of each good.

In light of the foregoing, in order to prove the origin of a product economic operators established in the EU wishing to export their goods to the UK must alternatively use:

  1. an invoice declaration released by the exporter, provided that they are in possession of sufficient documentation to prove the declared origin;
  2. the knowledge of the importer that the goods originated in the EU. Such knowledge shall be proved through an ad-hoc declaration, based on documentation sufficient to prove it.

The ADM has also clarified that any origin declaration could be issued on the invoice or on any other commercial document pertaining to the goods. For the release of the declaration, it is possible to use the form attached to the Note, which complies with the one already attached to the Agreement. To this end, economic operators which still do not have an REX (Registered Export System) code may apply by using their EORI code (Economic Operator Registration and Identification).

Authorization for the presentation of goods in premises other than customs offices

The Note also contains some relevant indications with reference to the so called “approved” premises: i.e. places other than customs offices where authorized economic operators may present the goods before export operations take place.

As is widely known, in order to be authorized economic operators must meet the following requirements: i) a continuity in the export operations issued in the concerned place; ii) the ownership of a valid legal document certifying the legitimacy of the use of the premises; and iii) the suitability of the premises for the purposes of verifications and controls.

In view of Brexit and the COVID-19 emergency, the ADM has decided to issue premises’ authorizations on the basis of a simplified procedure: economic operators may therefore submit a planimetry and a technical evaluation of the concerned premises, while the competent customs office may authorize the operator on the basis of a verification of such documents, without any further inspection.

Export combined with transit

Lastly, the ADM has recalled that, according to the Agreement, EU customs provisions shall continue to apply to Northern Ireland, regardless of it being part of the United Kingdom. As a consequence, the shipping of goods not originating in the EU and concerning one or more EU Member States and Northern Ireland shall be subject to EU transit provisions, while in cases where such goods transit through other parts of the UK (England, Wales and Scotland) the shipping shall be subject to the rules provided by the Common Transit Convention, concluded on 20 May 1987, to which the UK now adheres as an autonomous party following the end of the Brexit transition period.

This will allow economic operators to complete customs procedures at an internal customs office (presumably, the one located nearest to their premises), avoiding the usually longer time-frames needed for the fulfillment of customs procedures at the offices located at the borders.

How we may assist you

The Eversheds Sutherland EU, Regulatory & Trade Italian Team is able to assist Italian and foreign economic operators in the application of the rules provided by the EU-UK Agreement, in the evaluation of their impact on the business and in the compliance with the procedural rules adopted by the different customs authorities in each State.

In particular, the firm’s professionals can assist companies with the following tasks:

  • obtaining and/or issuing the relevant proofs of the origin of the goods;
  • submitting requests to be authorized to present goods at premises other than customs offices; and
  • maintaining their relationships with the Italian Customs Agency national and local offices.

For further information, please contact: