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Susanne Aigner, Head of Unit Customs Legislation, European Commission, DG TAXUD


The Union Customs Code (UCC) aims at modernizing customs processes and at ensuring a level playing field throughout the European Union, translating among other the aims of the WTO TFA into concrete legislation. The rules support SME's participation in the global market through rules that apply equally to small and big companies. They equally promote and enable full automation of all customs procedures and processes, in order to boost trade growth and ensure administrative burden reduction by making use of available data.

In the workshop, the Commission will shortly present the overall approach of the Union Customs Code (modernization, inclusiveness, full alignment with international standards like the WTO and WCO instruments, full automation) and will use this as a starting point for an interactive debate on a number of issues.

These will include a discussion on the requirement of following global standards to ensure inclusiveness and to multiply the impact on and benefits for business; the question on how to ensure that trade and government can follow the constantly evolving and changing environment (new challenges, new threats); how to ensure synergies of initiatives in the private sector with government efforts; cost and benefit of full automation and how to ensure proper funding; are jobs in public and private sectors under threat due to innovation and automation and can we use the shift to digitalized to create jobs in new trade sectors; relations of customs-tax in a digitalized world; are the existing standards flexible enough to cover the increasing number of internet sales; are we successful in reaching out to SMEs and are the rules and standards flexible enough and fit for purpose.


  • Susanne Aigner, Head of Unit Customs Legislation, European Commission, DG TAXUD
  • Nicolette Van der Jagt, Director General CLECAT
  • John O'Leary, Irish Revenue
  • Patrice Pillet, European Commission, DG TAXUD, Indirect Taxation/VAT