On September 14 and 15, 2023, the ETN conference took place in beautiful Pisa, IT. ETN (EurTradeNet) is the European alliance of customs software vendors. After a very interesting edition in picturesque Segovia near Madrid in 2022, a delegation from Stream Software headed to Italy with high expectations for the 20th edition. 

ETN conferences often take a technical approach to various topics. However, considering on the one hand the current UCC storm we all find ourselves in, and on the other hand the announced EU Customs Reform, it seems very useful to us to share information with everyone. The agenda of this summit was therefore largely built around these two topics: the state of affairs within the UCC transition, as well as a look to the future. "An update on the ongoing, and what's to come..." 

UCC implementation update. 

After a brief introduction and introduction, we were given an update on national planning and progress within the different member states. Diego Papaldo (TAXUD - Head of unit Processes, Data & Plans) starts by looking back at the past years, where especially the delays in implementation within the different member states. It should be stated that many things did get delivered (UCC Customs decisions, REX, upgrades EBTI,...), however in 2022 delays were noted in the implementation of the national systems (AN/PN/TS and imports) as well as risks in several member states of not being able to implement the trans-European systems (AES, NCTS P5, CCI Phase1) before the UCC deadline of December 2023. 

As previously communicated, some derogations have been proposed, which would allow member states more time to implement the new systems. For the export systems, a new deadline has been set to the end of 2024, however, member states are required to provide basic functionalities by the end of 2023.
The approval of these derogations would be on the committee's agenda by the end of November.
In addition, on 13/02/2024 comes a new obligation for member states to link EMCS with AES. 

Kanto Petri (T€S coordination) gave an update on the progress on AES and NCTS P5 within member states. Great progress has been made in most member states, there is a great focus on trade deployment. Currently 8 member states are live with AES and NCTS P5. Target to have 16 member states operational for AES and 24 for NCTS by the end of 2023. Regarding member states where Stream Software is active, Belgium is scheduled for AES in Q1 2024 (13/02/2024) and Luxembourg Q3 2024. The Netherlands is already operational within DMS4.0. Regarding NCTS, the target date in Belgium is 29/11/2023, the Netherlands is not scheduled until the end of 2024. Luxembourg is already live but has a transition window. 

New projects already planned (after 2025). CBAM, NCTS P7, smart border, update BTI model, EPOC (Electronic Proof of Origin Certificates - complex project in many countries), datahub (EU Customs Reform). The EU Customs Reform is the biggest change, however for now still a proposal. This has yet to be approved, however this is a lengthy process (complex and extensive). Given our current experience within the UCC, the proposed objectives in terms of timing do not seem ambitious at all. You can read more about EU Customs Reform in this story. 

ICS2 remains a hot topic, impacting both air and ocean. For the transition for maritime, there is a change in the timeline. Ocean carriers can submit ICS2 declarations as of 03/06/2024, however, with an absolute deadline of 04/12/2024. From this latter date comes the possibility for house filers to also submit ICS2, again with a deadline of 01/04/2025. A house level filer includes freight forwarders, importers and consolidators. Finally, there is a third stage to go-live, and this is for rail and road carriers. They can submit from 01/04/2025, with a deadline of 01/09/2025. 

EU Customs Reform. 

EU Customs Reform is a proposal for wholesale change in customs work. The proposal is very far-reaching, and is considered a huge change in the customs landscape. Currently, there is no telling when it will be effectively adopted by the EU. It is a complex procedure to get a proposal approved by the European Parliament. In addition, elections in 2024 most likely play a delaying factor, and there is still uncertainty surrounding the full completion of the current UCC implementation. 

Currently, 80-90% of customs processes run through national systems, and an absolute minority through European systems. With the advent of the EU data hub, this would be reversed. Numerous advantages are cited:

  • Single implementation to a European system;
  • Unified process;
  • Obligations to provide data proceeds uniformly;
  • More opportunities to reuse data;
  • A single transition for changes in customs regulations.

The EU data hub would be centrally managed, and would include several ways to submit data. The proposed timeframes are ambitious. A concept would already be built out over the next few years (2023-2025), to start further development immediately after UCC implementation. In 2028 e-Commerce would be brought live towards EU datahub, the full transition of all national systems should be completed by 2037. 


EurTradeNet is a European collaboration of customs software providers, also known as CRSPs. It is a special knowledge network that pools their local expertise in information processing and communication. In this way, they ensure optimal implementation of eCustoms throughout Europe. 

We thank Maite Miret and her fantastic team for their excellent work in organizing the summit in Pisa. As Stream Software, we found the info sessions and panel discussions to be very engaging, especially since they took place during these turbulent times when there are numerous legal changes. We are elated to have benefited from the interesting and relevant discussions.

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