General Requirements

Goods leaving the European Union must do so in accordance with the export procedure laid down in customs law. Export formalities apply including the common commercial policy measures and in some very few cases, export levies or duties.

The safety and security legislation applicable to the import of goods applies to exports. The legislation requires as a general principle that all goods brought out of the customs territory of the EU regardless of the destination, must be risk assessed and subject to customs control before departure or before loading of vessels in the case of sea containerised maritime shipment.

Exported goods must be covered by declaration either a customs declaration for export, re-export or transit. The exporter must give notice and declare the export to the designated control office of his intention to pack and load export consignments. Customs undertake a risk analysis and determine the proper routing of the exporter in particular, as to whether checks or verifications are required.

General Nature

The export clearance procedure broadly mirrors the import clearance procedure with goods being presented covered by the declaration. Goods leaving the customs territory of the EU are subject customs supervision. They may be subject to further checks by the customs authority in accordance with law.

The EU wide safety and security measures applicable since 1 January 2011 apply both to export and import. Goods must be notified in a timely manner and presented to customs upon export.

The release of goods for free circulation alters non-Community (EU) goods to Community (EU) goods and requires that the formalities be completed. Equally export procedures involve the exit of Community goods so that their status is altered to non-Community goods.

In an international context, each export has a corresponding import. An export from one jurisdiction is an import into the other.

The broad principles applicable to the declarations, amendments of declarations, acceptance of declarations et cetera that apply to imports apply to exports. Customs may verify export and risk analysis basis in the same manner as imports.

Exported goods must leave the Community customs territory in an altered state. The must be no alterations or changes with a view to reimportation without completing the applicable importation requirements.

Procedure on Lodgement

The exporter must lodge the declaration at the customs office of export. Where this is different to the customs office of exit the customs office of export communicates or makes available the electronic particulars concerned.

The general principle is that the export declaration must be lodged with  the customs office responsible for supervising the place where  the exporter is established, where the goods are packed or loaded for export shipment. Derogations from these requirements may be permitted by the Commission in accordance with procedures published.

Customs verification and checking if deemed appropriate may take place prior to packing or loading or later. The consignment is released by customs to proceed to the office of exit. Persons may be approved as authorised consignors and consignees. The must comply with the relevant conditions of their approval.

The same risk management procedures that apply to imports apply to exports. The customs office of export may undertake physical inspection and a risk analysis basis. The exporter is entitled to be present.

Summary Declaration

Where goods leaving the EU are not assigned to a customs-approved treatment or use for which customs declaration is required,  a summary declaration must be lodged at the office of exit before goods are brought out of the customs territory. Customs authorities may allow the declaration to be lodged another customs office provided that this office immediately communicates or makes available at electronically the necessary particulars to the customs office of exit.

The declaration must contain at least the prescribed requirements for the summary declaration.T he EU Commission has established a common data set format for the summary declaration containing the requisite particulars and protections for risk analysis and proper application of customs controls. This is primarily for safety and security purposes and uses the appropriate international standards and commercial practices.

The summary declaration must be made using a data processing technique. Customs authorities may accept a paper-based summary declaration in exceptional circumstances provided that they apply the same level of risk management.

The summary declaration must be lodged by the person who brings the goods or assumes responsibility for the carriage of the goods out of the customs territory of the EU. It may alternatively be made by a person who is able to present the goods have them presented or by a representative of one of those parties.

Amendments are possible in relation to the declaration provided that the customs authorities have not already informed the person lodging of an intention to examine the goods or have established that the particulars are incorrect or have allowed the removal of goods.

Local and Exit Office

The export declaration is lodged in the first case at the customs office for the exporter’s premises. Once they are completed at the office of declaration the goods are released to proceed to the office of exit from the EU which certifies the physical exportation from the EU’s customs territory.

The general principle is that the export declaration must be lodged with the customs office responsible for supervising the place where the exporter is established, where the goods are packed or loaded for export shipment. Derogations from these requirements may be permitted by the Commission in accordance with procedures published.

The exporter is considered to be the person on whose behalf the export declaration is made and who is the owner of the goods or has a similar right of disposal over them at the time when the declaration is accepted. The exporter is responsible for compliance with the export formalities. This includes maintenance of records at his premises.

Pursuant to the relevant regulations in this regard the customs office must note information about physical checks, exemption of physical checks and sealings on form T5. The customs office is obliged to check the conformity of the products with the export declarations visually. This is done on an occasional and selective risk management basis. The form T5 notifies the customs office of exit to which the T5 control copy is sent of the control measures taken.

Exiting the EU

Goods are released for export on condition that they leave the Community in the same condition as when the export declaration was accepted.

The same customs penalties, administrative fines, criminal fines and sanctions are applicable to export declarations as apply to import declarations. In general the result of partial examinations by customs and presumed to apply to the whole in terms of legal significance.

The exporter may request further examination of the goods if he considers that the results of the partial examination are not valid as regards the remainder of the goods declared.

Export declarations may require to be supported by certificates and licenses in some cases depending on the goods concerned. The provision of such certificates is critical to the completion of a lawful export declaration.

CAP Goods

There are special considerations in respect of products subject to the Common Agricultural Policy. There are provisions for refunds on the export of agricultural products which is part of the remaining common agricultural policy system of price maintenance and control.

The Customs authorities may act as agents for the agricultural authorities in relation to CAP refunds controls. In the context of the CAP, export refunds there is provision for CAP warehousings. There are specific authorisations for CAP exporters and specific control and supervision mechanisms.

It is a fundamental requirement that there be an export declaration and that be accepted by the customs authority. It is legally critical that this point is established in terms of the changing status of the goods as well as in the context of CAP refunds.

Lodging a pre-departure declaration

Goods to be taken out of the customs territory of the EU shall be covered by a pre-departure declaration to be lodged at the competent customs office within a specific time-limit before the goods are taken out of the customs territory of the EU.The obligation shall be waived:
• for means of transport and the goods carried thereon only passing through the territorial waters or the airspace of the customs territory of the EU without a stop within that territory; or
• in other specific cases, where duly justified by the type of goods or traffic or where required by international agreements.

The pre-departure declaration shall take the form of one of the following:
• a customs declaration, where the goods to be taken out of the customs territory of the EU are placed under a customs procedure for which such declaration is required;
• a re-export declaration,
• an exit summary declaration.

The pre-departure declaration shall contain the particulars necessary for risk analysis for security and safety purposes.

Risk analysis

The customs office to which the pre-departure declaration is lodged shall ensure that, within a specific time-limit, a risk analysis is carried out, primarily for security and safety purposes, on the basis of that declaration and shall take the necessary measures based on the results of that risk analysis.

Customs supervision and formalities on exit

Goods to be taken out of the customs territory of the EU shall be subject to customs supervision and may be subject to customs controls. Where appropriate, the customs authorities may determine the route to be used, and the time-limit to be respected when goods are to be taken out of the customs territory of the EU.

Goods to be taken out of the customs territory of the EU shall be presented to customs on exit by one of the following persons:
•  the person who takes the goods out of the customs territory of the EU;
•  the person in whose name or on whose behalf the person who takes the goods out of the customs territory of the EU acts;
•  the person who assumes responsibility for the carriage of the goods prior to their exit from the customs territory of the EU.

Goods to be taken out of the customs territory of the EU shall be subject, as appropriate, to the following:
•  the repayment or remission of import duty;
•  the payment of export refunds;
•  the collection of export duty;
•  the formalities required under provisions in force with regard to other charges;

They are also subject to the application of prohibitions and restrictions justified on grounds of, inter alia,
• public morality, public policy or public security,
• the protection of the health and life of humans, animals or plants, the protection of the environment,
• the protection of national treasures possessing artistic, historic or archaeological value and the protection of industrial or commercial property, including controls against drug precursors, goods infringing certain intellectual property rights and cash,
• as well as the implementation of fishery conservation and management measures and of commercial policy measures.

Release for exit shall be granted by the customs authorities on condition that the goods in question will be taken out of the customs territory of the EU in the same condition as when:
• the customs or re-export declaration was accepted; or
• the exit summary declaration was lodged.

Export of EU goods

EU goods to be taken out of the customs territory of the EU shall be placed under the export procedure. This not apply to any of the following EU goods:
• goods placed under the outward processing procedure;
• goods taken out of the customs territory of the EU after having been placed under the end-use procedure;
• goods delivered, VAT or excise duty exempted, as aircraft or ship supplies, regardless of the destination of the aircraft or ship, for which a proof of such supply is required;
• goods placed under the internal transit procedure;
• goods moved temporarily out of the customs territory of the EU in accordance with the requisite procedure.

The formalities concerning the export customs declaration laid down in the customs legislation apply. .
Non-EU goods to be taken out of the customs territory of the EU shall be subject to a re-export declaration to be lodged at the competent customs office.

Lodging an exit summary declaration

Where goods are to be taken out of the customs territory of the EU and a customs declaration or a re-export declaration is not lodged as pre-departure declaration, an exit summary declaration shall be lodged at the customs office of exit.

Customs authorities may allow the exit summary declaration to be lodged at another customs office, provided that the latter immediately communicates or makes available electronically the necessary particulars to the customs office of exit.

The exit summary declaration shall be lodged by the carrier.Notwithstanding the obligations of the carrier, the exit summary declaration may be lodged instead by one of the following persons:
• the exporter or consignor or other person in whose name or on whose behalf the carrier acts;
• any person who is able to present the goods in question or have them presented at the customs office of exit.

Customs authorities may accept that commercial, port or transport information systems may be used to lodge an exit summary declaration, provided that they contain the necessary particulars for such declaration and that these particulars are available within a specific time-limit, before the goods are taken out of the customs territory of the EU.

Customs authorities may accept, instead of the lodging of the exit summary declaration, the lodging of a notification and access to the particulars of an exit summary declaration in the economic operator’s computer system.

Amendment and invalidation of the exit summary declaration

The declarant may, upon application, be permitted to amend one or more particulars of the exit summary declaration after it has been lodged.

No amendment shall be possible after any of the following:
• the customs authorities have informed the person who lodged the exit summary declaration that they intend to examine the goods;
• the customs authorities have established that one or more particulars of the exit summary declaration are inaccurate or incomplete;
• the customs authorities have already granted the release of the goods for exit.
Where the goods for which an exit summary declaration has been lodged are not taken out of the customs territory of the EU, the customs authorities shall invalidate that declaration in either of the following cases:
• upon application by the declarant;
• within 150 days after the lodging of the declaration.

Lodging a re-export notification

Where non-EU goods are taken out of the customs territory of the EU and the obligation to lodge an exit summary declaration for those goods is waived, a re-export notification shall be lodged. The re-export notification shall be lodged at the customs office of exit of the goods by the person responsible for the presentation of goods on exit.

The re-export notification shall contain the particulars necessary to discharge the free zone procedure or to end the temporary storage.

Customs authorities may accept that commercial, port or transport information systems may be used to lodge a re-export notification, provided that they contain the necessary particulars for such notification and these particulars are available before the goods are taken out of the customs territory of the EU.

Customs authorities may accept, instead of the lodging of the re-export notification, the lodging of a notification and access to the particulars of a re-export notification in the economic operator’s computer system.

Relief from export duty for EU goods temporarily exported

EU goods which are temporarily exported from the customs territory of the EU shall benefit from export duty relief, conditional upon their re-import.

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