Will the EU’s new Union Customs Code (UCC) achieve its dream of being the most modern and competitive customs system in the world, with fully harmonized customs processes and electronic customs procedures? Sidley encountered many questions on the UCC from businesses and found that nobody had all the answers. To meet the demand for answers on the UCC, Sidley organized a roundtable of high-level industry representatives, European Commission officials and national customs officials to reflect and exchange views on the UCC a few days before it went into implementation on May 1, 2016. The roundtable participants had a lively and positive discussion about the UCC implementation challenges in the context of rapidly evolving business practices, especially in e-commerce. They also defined some cooperative initiatives needed to make the UCC the new gold standard in global customs practice.
The roundtable’s chairs and convenors, Arnoud Willems and Hans van Bodegraven of Sidley, closed the event by thanking the excellent speakers: Erik van Goubergen (Director, Nike European Logistics Center), Tonka Kostadinova (Director, DHL), Steve Parker (President, European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services), Harry Mulder (Senior Policy Advisor, Dutch Ministry of Finance), Walter Van der Meiren (Chair, AmCham EU’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee) and Philip Kermode (Director, European Commission’s Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union).