Oxford Research has been awarded the study to support the evaluation of the Union Customs Code.

The assignment is to assess the entire Union Customs Code (comprised of ca 1,000 legislative provisions and 17 major IT systems) and its implementation. In part, this involves gauging the UCC’s success in helping the Customs Union to achieve its mission of ensuring the safety and security of EU citizens while facilitating legitimate trade. It also means examining whether it is suited to dealing with trends like the explosion in e-commerce, technological developments like blockchain and crises like the covid-19 pandemic. This builds on several other recent customs assignments by Oxford Research in this core area of our expertise, notably studies on a future EU Single Window environment for customs and the EU Strategy and action plan for customs risk management and the mid-term evaluation of the Customs 2020 programme.

The Customs Union is one of the EU’s earliest achievements and main success stories: it allows more than €3 trillion worth of goods to flow in and out of the EU each year, and is an essential pre-condition for the free circulation of goods within the EU, without which the Single Market would be impossible. It is also one of the EU’s few exclusive competences, meaning that policy for all of Europe is made collectively. The legal and practical foundation for the Customs Union is the UCC, which in addition to defining rules and processes has objectives to keep Europe safe from dangerous, fraudulent and counterfeit goods and ensure the proper collection of customs duties while also making trade as smooth and efficient as possible.