Annex F. Current international regulatory e-commerce developments

World Customs Organisation (WCO)

  • WCO’s Cross-Border E-Commerce Framework of Standards that provides common standards, technical specifications, and guidelines for the effective management of cross-border E-Commerce from both facilitation and control perspectives. This constitutes a set of customs standards (15 in total) on: Advance Electronic Data and Risk management; Facilitation and Simplification; Fair and Efficient Revenue Collection; and Safety and Security, etc. – see Annex G for further information. These Standards (delivered in June, 2018) represent a political commitment even though they are not legally binding, and provide operational solutions that WCO Members have started engaging other relevant government agencies and e-commerce stakeholders.

  • WCO’s ongoing work to facilitate exchange of information between Customs and e-commerce intermediaries (including marketplaces).

  • WCO Immediate Release Guidelines: approved Guidelines for the immediate release of consignments by customs Version III 2018 applicable also on low value consignments for which no duties and taxes are collected (below the de minimis threshold) aiming to: facilitate the pre-arrival processing and risk management of the consignments based on advance electronic information; streamline and expedite the handling of the consignments upon arrival; assist Customs administrations in determining data requirements and the exact procedure to be applied.

  • WCO Guidelines on Customs-Tax Cooperation: already approved Guidelines to strengthen cooperation among Customs authorities and Tax authorities, formulated with the support of WCO Members and development partners that aim to provide reference guidance to Customs and Tax authorities who wish to go further in their cooperation and develop operational models which enable agencies to work together to their mutual benefit.

  • WCO/UPU Customs-Post EDI Messaging Standards and associated Guidelines are being developed to implement the advance electronic exchange of information between customs authorities and postal services in practice.

Universal Postal Union (UPU)

  • The Universal Post Union (UPU) is developing a Postal Technology Centre aimed at making data available electronically in the postal operator environment. This includes (will include) an electronic Customs Declaration System (CDS) on the basis of joint messaging standards, which will enable customers to enter data about an item on-line and enable postal services to provide advance data about postal shipments.

European Union (EU)

  • As of 2021, all imports arriving in the EU will be declared electronically using a specific data set depending on the type of operator and the mode of transport. The data set will ensure that information for establishing VAT and/or customs liabilities is present together with information for customs control purposes.

Source: WCO and other publicly available sources.

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