Release for free circulation in the EU

(VAT excluded, card and bank transfer accepted)

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(VAT excluded, card and bank transfer accepted)

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In this course, you will become familiar with one of the two main customs procedures that enable the vast majority of international trade transactions. This is the release for free circulation (also called simply 'import'). This procedure concerns non-Union goods intended to be placed on the EU market or intended for private use or consumption within the customs territory of the EU. To carry out this customs procedure, importers must comply with numerous requirements regarding taxation, trade measures, prohibitions, and restrictions and complete the necessary paperwork.

The course is Module 14 of the extensive Customs clearance and trade compliance in the EU training (see the brochure).

Lessons

The course consists of three lessons:

  1. Introduction to customs procedure of release for free circulation. Learn what customs procedures are in general and release for free circulation in particular. Find out what conditions of the release for free circulation procedure are (including examples from the court practice).
  2. Legal requirements for the release for free circulation. Learn the main Union Customs Code provisions on this procedure, non-tariff and tariff requirements as well as some aspects of the customs status of goods released for free circulation.
  3. Customs formalities are required for goods to be released for free circulation. Learn how to deal with the single administrative document, or customs declaration, required for the customs procedure of release for free circulation.

After watching the videos, please take the quiz and then finalise the module by doing the readings (see in Resources) - after purchasing the course, you will be given access to the articles on the platform.  

Outcome

At the end of this course, you should understand:

  • What is a release for free circulation and what does it mean for international trade;
  • The conditions and requirements for placing goods under this customs procedure;
  • What you should do to comply with the requirements above;
  • How to avoid the main risks related to the release for free circulation;
  • What are the implications of the release for free circulation;
  • Where to find the necessary information for successfully completing the release for free circulation procedure (databases, other sources).

After successfully completing the quiz (more than 60% of the answers should be correct), you will receive a certificate of completion.

Time

Please plan to dedicate around 3 hours to complete this course.

The prominence given to free circulation in the structure of the UCC is an indicator of its importance - it was considered by the EU legislators that it is appropriate to devote a separate chapter to the procedure, despite its brevity.

Dr Gediminas Valantiejus

Customs Knowledge Institute: 🔗 Customs Knowledge Institute is an Irish not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to bring together passionate customs practitioners for the purpose of enhancing customs knowledge. 📧 CKI@customsknowledgeinstitute.org  
CustomsClear: we are the customs and trade compliance knowledge marketplace and our goal is to connect knowledge seekers with industry-related experts. Check other available 🔗 courses.

Resources are available after purchase.

Comments ()

Topic spotlight
icon
EU Customs Reform: Who is the ‘importer’ and what are their responsibilities?
21-04-2024

Continuing a series of articles on the main legal aspects of the proposed EU customs reform, the author focuses on a key player in the import process: the importer. The Commission proposal is based on a new vision of this actor and his responsibilities. This article describes and analyses the three variants under this concept: the basic rules for importers, the special rules for deemed importers, and the rules for indirect customs representatives who are treated as the (deemed) importer. Furthermore, it addresses the question of what happens when the wrong person has been named as an importer by an actor in the supply chain or a customs representative.

Michael Lux

law, import
Topic spotlight
icon
EU Customs Reform: Who is the ‘importer’ and what are their responsibilities?
21-04-2024

Continuing a series of articles on the main legal aspects of the proposed EU customs reform, the author focuses on a key player in the import process: the importer. The Commission proposal is based on a new vision of this actor and his responsibilities. This article describes and analyses the three variants under this concept: the basic rules for importers, the special rules for deemed importers, and the rules for indirect customs representatives who are treated as the (deemed) importer. Furthermore, it addresses the question of what happens when the wrong person has been named as an importer by an actor in the supply chain or a customs representative.

Michael Lux

law, import
Perspective
icon
Transport services VAT exempt because already in import tax base? You will need to prove it!
24-09-2023

The Romanian company provides transportation services. It transported goods from the port of Rotterdam (the Netherlands) to Cluj-Napoca (Romania) under transit procedure. Goods were released into free circulation in Romania. It treated transportation service as VAT exempt because it assumed that transportation cost was included into the import VAT taxable base. Tax authorities claimed otherwise: the taxpayer failed to provide documents confirming that the transportation cost was included into the import VAT taxable base. Consequently, they denied the exemption. The dispute between the company and the tax authorities reached as far as the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), which recently issued clarifications on the application of the provisions of the VAT Directive in this case.

Mark Rowbotham

duties, taxes, valuation, import
Perspective
icon
Transport services VAT exempt because already in import tax base? You will need to prove it!
24-09-2023

The Romanian company provides transportation services. It transported goods from the port of Rotterdam (the Netherlands) to Cluj-Napoca (Romania) under transit procedure. Goods were released into free circulation in Romania. It treated transportation service as VAT exempt because it assumed that transportation cost was included into the import VAT taxable base. Tax authorities claimed otherwise: the taxpayer failed to provide documents confirming that the transportation cost was included into the import VAT taxable base. Consequently, they denied the exemption. The dispute between the company and the tax authorities reached as far as the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), which recently issued clarifications on the application of the provisions of the VAT Directive in this case.

Mark Rowbotham

duties, taxes, valuation, import
Topic spotlight
icon
Who is responsible for CBAM in the company?
17-09-2023

If you import aluminium, steel and iron products, cement, fertilisers, hydrogen or electricity, you should already have answered the question of who in your company speaks the language of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), i.e. is knowledgeable in this area and responsible for compliance. And not just you, but also your suppliers from outside the EU, as they will provide you with information on the carbon emissions generated in the production of goods. So who in your supplier company speaks the CBAM language? In this article we look at the links between CBAM and customs, as well as other areas, to help you answer the question of whether the primary responsibility for CBAM compliance should lie with the person responsible for customs matters.

Enrika Naujokė

duties, taxes, import, sustainability
Topic spotlight
icon
Who is responsible for CBAM in the company?
17-09-2023

If you import aluminium, steel and iron products, cement, fertilisers, hydrogen or electricity, you should already have answered the question of who in your company speaks the language of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), i.e. is knowledgeable in this area and responsible for compliance. And not just you, but also your suppliers from outside the EU, as they will provide you with information on the carbon emissions generated in the production of goods. So who in your supplier company speaks the CBAM language? In this article we look at the links between CBAM and customs, as well as other areas, to help you answer the question of whether the primary responsibility for CBAM compliance should lie with the person responsible for customs matters.

Enrika Naujokė

duties, taxes, import, sustainability
Case law
icon
The Zes Zollner Electronic case: exploring the scope of amending customs declarations
25-06-2023

In a recent ruling, the Court of Justice (the Court) delivered its decision in the case of Zes Zollner Electronic, addressing the issue of amending customs declarations and the consequences of failing to declare the correct quantity of goods. The case involved a Romanian company, Zes Zollner Electronic (ZZE), which declared only half of the actual quantity of goods received, resulting in a customs infringement.

Jonas Sakalauskas

violations, import
Case law
icon
The Zes Zollner Electronic case: exploring the scope of amending customs declarations
25-06-2023

In a recent ruling, the Court of Justice (the Court) delivered its decision in the case of Zes Zollner Electronic, addressing the issue of amending customs declarations and the consequences of failing to declare the correct quantity of goods. The case involved a Romanian company, Zes Zollner Electronic (ZZE), which declared only half of the actual quantity of goods received, resulting in a customs infringement.

Jonas Sakalauskas

violations, import
Sustainability
icon
CBAM reports and declarations for imported goods: Who, what, when?
11-06-2023

To reduce carbon emissions in the EU and globally, the EU has put in place a legal framework - the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), set out in a recently published regulation. The CBAM will apply to imports of certain goods such as fertilisers, screws, wires, hydrogen, etc., the range of which will be expanded. The obligation for importers of these goods or their indirect customs representatives to submit quarterly CBAM reports comes into force already this year.

Enrika Naujokė

duties, taxes, restrictions, trade barriers, import, sustainability
Sustainability
icon
CBAM reports and declarations for imported goods: Who, what, when?
11-06-2023

To reduce carbon emissions in the EU and globally, the EU has put in place a legal framework - the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), set out in a recently published regulation. The CBAM will apply to imports of certain goods such as fertilisers, screws, wires, hydrogen, etc., the range of which will be expanded. The obligation for importers of these goods or their indirect customs representatives to submit quarterly CBAM reports comes into force already this year.

Enrika Naujokė

duties, taxes, restrictions, trade barriers, import, sustainability
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