2021 Europe Customs Regulatory Changes

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When it comes to shipping goods from one port to another, more often than not, you’ll find your goods being caught up in the tedious customs clearance process. This mostly happens when you are unable to provide complete and accurate customs information. Customs authorities worldwide, regularly review and adjust regulations to enhance transparency and enable a more efficient process. In 2021, Europe Customs Regulatory authorities have brought in three major regulatory changes (i.e. BREXIT, ICS2 and VAT De Minimis Removal). These changes when implemented may result in potential clearance delays, penalties, or even fines by customs authorities if not duly complied. 

We have been preparing for these changes and are here to help you understand them so that you can continue to enjoy a smooth shipping process with DHL Express.

What is the importance of conforming to these new regulatory changes?

Conforming to these upcoming European Regulatory changes will help you to:

  • Reduce unnecessary clearance delays and transit time 
  • Reduce the risk of fines and penalties
  • Fully comply with security/safety screening 
  • Leverage a simple and beneficial customs process
  • Rightly assess taxes and duties 
  • Avoid contacting customer service needlessly for you as well as your customers

A deep dive into these three regulatory changes

1. BREXIT: Effected from January 2021

Since the United Kingdom has left the European Union on January 1st, 2021, customs declaration is now needed for shipments from the UK to the 27 EU member states and vice versa.

What will you need to provide to DHL Express?

  • Complete and accurate description of goods on your DHL AWB and shipping invoice
  • Value of goods, insurance costs, and freight 
  • Exporter, shipper, receiver, as well as importers permanent address and phone number 
  • Incoterms, quantity, and weight of shipment 
  • Detailed description of goods, line item, harmonized system codes, and country of origin.

2. ICS2 (Import Control System 2): Effective from March 2021

It is basically a security management system for any electronic declaration of goods that are destined for the European Union Customs territory. This regulatory change will lessen security-related risks and potential terrorist threats, such as explosives concealed in these consignments. As of March 2021, every shipper will need to submit certain data elements to be sent to the EU Customs authorities – prior to loading in the country of export on a flight into or transiting the EU, Norway or Switzerland.

What will you need to provide to DHL Express?

  • Complete and precise description of goods on the DHL AWB
  • Correct shipper and receiver details on the invoice and AWB
  • Accurate and comprehensive commercial invoice data to make sure that legal requirements for every shipment is submitted before loading. This includes goods description on line items to enable proper identification of goods.

3. VAT De Minimis Removal: Effective from July 2021

Europe will stop De Minimis levels for any imports into the Europe. Currently, no official customs declaration is needed for shipments below EUR 22 (goods value). But, as of July 2021, all inbound Europe shipments below EUR 22 will need a formal customs declaration data. 

Please note: In certain European Member States (e.g. Bulgaria), the De Minimis level is €10 instead of €22, while the other European Member States (i.e. Poland, France, Sweden) have already decided to stop the use of this exemption to certain orders or in whole.

As a shipper of goods into the EU, this video can help you navigate this change.

As a receiver of goods from outside the EU, this video can help you understand how this change may affect you.

What will you need to provide for your EU shipment?

  • Complete and accurate goods description on the DHL air waybill and commercial invoice data for all shipments
  • Type of transaction and the motive of export 
  • Exporter, shipper, receiver, as well as importers permanent address and phone number 
  • Proper goods description on line item, Harmonized Security codes, and country of origin 
  • Goods value, freight, and their insurance costs
  • Incoterms, quantity, and weight of the shipment.

In addition to adhering to these points while shipping goods to Europe, customers also need to make sure that their waybill and invoice contains accurate information of the goods. Here is a list of examples of acceptable and non-acceptable goods description for your waybill and commercial invoice. 

Once you’ve made sure that your goods descriptions on the invoice and waybill are complete and accurate, move ahead to transmit them electronically to DHL. Few of the electronic shipping options include:

  1. MyDHL+: Ideal for a single shipment or many. This online portal helps Customers to use just a single login to export, import service, track their shipments and do much more, anywhere, anytime.

  2. EasyShip: Easy desktop solution for bigger shipment volumes, multi-national supply chains or companies with a chief shipping function.

  3. MyDHL API & Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): Beneficial for multi-site logistics operations and large shipping volumes. This option helps integrate shipping into the existing global business process.

  4. Emailship: A set of reusable DHL forms and step-by-step instructions, specially designed to allow quick and easy shipping using your email (supports limited connectivity).

  5. Express Logistics Platform (ELP): An online application process for forward and reverse-flow logistics (shipment management with multiple legs). 

Further, we have a dedicated site to share more information about all things related to these changes, including detailed examples of acceptable goods description on your AWB and invoice. So, head over here to stay updated