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What Y2K and the UCC Have in Common

Posted by Matt Springate

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5/11/16 11:40 AM

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Does everyone remember Y2K?

The whole world was under the impression that, at the turn of midnight on December 31st, 1999, all our computers would simply stop functioning and we would enter the equivalent of a cyber stone age. I remember vividly sitting on the couch, watching the TV as the ball dropped in Times Square, waiting to see if all the lights were going to go off at any minute.

Alas, the lights stayed on, the computers still worked, and we all moved forward.

EU traders had a similar feeling when May 1st rolled around and the Union Customs Code (UCC) - a union-wide re-write of the customs regulations within Europe - became effective.

While the legislation includes significant changes that directly affects traders, there was no Y2K-like disruption to trade once the Code went into effect.

Nevertheless, as I heard an Irish Revenue agent say a few weeks ago, “As of May 1st, the Union Customs Code is the law of the land.”

Even though commerce did not grind to a halt, traders should still be aware of the changes the UCC brings to the trade environment in Europe that are now in place, which include:

  • End of the First Sale Rule
  • New Rules around the Dutiability of Royalties and Licensing Fees
  • Expansion of Authorized Economic Operator status benefits
  • Mandatory guarantees for certain Customs Simplifications
  • Changes to Binding Tariff Information validity

If you need assistance with any of these changes, or you are simply looking for a pair of vintage year 2000 novelty glasses, Tradewin is here to help.


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Topics: Europe

Written by Matt Springate

As Senior Manager for Tradewin’s practice in Europe, Matt brings extensive experience in working with importers and exporters to perfect their compliance operations. He specializes in duty recovery programs, preferential trade agreement qualification, tariff classification, and audit support. Prior to joining Tradewin in Europe, Matt worked for Tradewin in the U.S. for four years. His most recent role was as Manager of Tradewin’s U.S. Duty Drawback practice. There, he pursued duty recovery programs for companies in every industry, including automotive, pharmaceutical, fashion and retail. Preceding that role, Matt supported Tradewin as an Import Services Consultant, where he assisted clients with first sale for export programs, prior disclosure presentations to U.S. Customs, and import declaration auditing. Matt holds a Master of Arts degree in Diplomacy and International Commerce from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Furman University. He is a Licensed Customs Broker in the U.S. and is IATA/FIATA Certified.