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New prerequisite for exporters shipping goods from the EU

The new definition set by the EU on October 1, 2019, demands that a company be established in the EU if it is to carry out commercial exports. A company that is not EU-established can therefore no longer qualify as the exporter under customs and excise law when exporting to a non-EU country.

New prerequisite for exporters shipping goods from the EU

What does this mean for Swiss companies with an EU warehouse?

Previously, Swiss companies with warehouses in the EU could be registered as exporters in ATLAS, for example through indirect representation by the EU shipper (declarant), and could thus export goods directly from the EU warehouse. According to the new regulation, a shipper or a third party established in the EU may act as exporter, but this is only possible if decision-making power is formally transferred to them.

The exporter for the purposes of customs and excise law is also bound by the duties imposed by customs legislation and must, among other things, be able to provide the necessary documents on the exported goods on request from the customs office. For compliance reasons, therefore, some well-known shippers established in the EU only offer this service with an advance risk analysis or not at all.

It is worthwhile to make contact with the shipper or a third party to discuss the possibilities and additional costs involved in designating them as the exporter according to customs and excise law. 

What does this mean for Swiss companies supplying “ex works” from the EU?

Previously, in this case too it was possible to be registered as an exporter in ATLAS by means of indirect representation by the EU shipper (declarant) and thus to export the goods from the EU to Switzerland (or other non-EU countries). According to the new regulation, here too a shipper or a third party established in the EU may act as exporter, but this is only possible if decision-making power is formally transferred to them.

In such cases, it is important to note that the EU supplier does not have any power of determination regarding the supply of the goods. This also means that they can only act as exporter if the power of determination is formally transferred to them.

It is worthwhile desisting from ex-works agreements and shifting to the FCA (free carrier) instead. This way, the goods will be supplied with customs procedures already completed and the EU supplier is the exporter under customs and excise law.

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Do you have any questions regarding export papers, free trade agreements or origins of goods? Here, you can find checklists, FAQs and the customs database, or contact our ExportHelp team. We will get back to you within 24 hours, and the first hour of research is free.

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