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EU Single Window Environment for Customs

Global Trade News | Customs & Trade alert

After close to 10 years of pilot projects and almost 4 years of preparations and negotiations, the Regulation establishing the EU Single Window Environment for Customs made its way into EU law in December 2022. The EU Customs Single Window Certificates Exchange System (EU CSW-CERTEX) will allow economic operators to use a common portal to submit data for each specific policy domain phased in – such as health and safety, protection of the environment, food and product safety, etc. – instead of submitting the data separately to both the customs systems and other government authorities in charge of enforcing non-customs formalities at the EU border systems. 

This system will remove existing digital barriers, reduce the administrative burden and improve the quality of interactions between national administrations. Moreover, EU CSW-CERTEX should facilitate information exchange between the customs national single window environments and noncustoms systems.

The implementation of the EU Single Window Environment for Customs will be phased in gradually over the coming decade. 

The first phase will come into effect by 2025 and focuses on enhancing intergovernmental exchanges at EU borders. The Government-to-Government (G2G) layer of cooperation will enable government authorities’ systems to communicate with one another and to automatedly exchange and verify the documents required for goods clearance. The EU CSW-CERTEX will initially cover sanitary and phytosanitary requirements, rules regulating the import of organic products, some environmental requirements, and formalities related to the import of cultural goods.

A second phase, planned for 2031, will provide a Business-to-Government scheme. The B2G layer of cooperation builds on the G2G layer and further enables the streamlining of clearance processes for economic operators dealing with certain Union non-customs requirements. The B2G layer will allow economic operators two options: submit the data separately to customs and Union non-customs systems or submit all data at once to the national single window environments for customs. The data submission will take place through an “integrated data set” that contains all data required by customs and non-customs authorities for all policy domains applicable to a given product.

The implementation of the B2G scheme will offer economic operators the flexibility to use the B2G channel depending on the scope and scale of their operations. Hence, the processes for lodging customs and non-customs data would be significantly improved. It will establish a level playing field for economic operators and ensure a move towards simplified regulatory compliance despite the growing number of non-customs requirements.