Brussels, 15 April 2021

On the 15th of April, FEPORT participated in the 58th plenary meeting of the Trade Contact Group which was held virtually. At the start of the meeting, it was explained that a call for applications has opened in view of the renewal of the TCG membership. Those members that wish to renew their membership, should prepare their application by the 31st of May.

DG TAXUD provided a briefing on developments in the EU-UK Partnership Council and invited members to share concerns on customs related issues if any. Furthermore, information was provided on EU-UK guidance on returned goods.

The EU’s work plan regarding international cooperation on customs matter was discussed, which, for example, proposes to deal with issues such as release of goods, risk management and mutual recognition of AEO status.

As regards to COVID-19, DG TAXUD announced that the VAT exemption and duty relief for critical goods (e.g. personal protective equipment) have been extended until at least 31 December 2021 and explained the criteria for export authorization of COVID-19 vaccines.

When discussing the progress of the Customs Union Action Plan, it was mentioned that the customs risk management strategy ought to be finalized by early next year and that members of the TCG can expect to be consulted on this topic. Moreover, work is currently being carried out in cooperation with Member States in view of updating the AEO guidelines. TCG members can also expect soon to be consulted on the evaluation of the UCC.