Tariff quotas: New European Regulation on the Administration of Import and Export Tariff Quotas Subject to Licences

June 14, 2020 Hristescu & Partners

On 14th June, in the Official Journal of the European Union was published the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/760 of 17 December 2019 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the rules for the administration of import and export tariff quotas subject to licences and supplementing Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the lodging of securities in the administration of tariff quotas. 

As this Regulation replaces the existing rules for the management of tariff quota, in order to avoid disrupting trade flows and to ensure a smooth transition to the rules provided for in this Regulation, the application of this Regulation will be applicable starting 1 January 2021.

Operators applying for an import or export licence within a tariff quota must be established and registered for VAT purposes in the Union. For this purpose, the operators must submit their application for the licence to the licence issuing authority of the Member State where they are established and registered as VAT payers.

In order to apply for tariff quotas for which prior registration of operators is required, the operators must fulfil the requirement of independence and submit a declaration of independence, as set out in article 11, respectively article 12 of the Regulation.

For issuance of the following licences, lodging of a security is required:

  • import licences;
  • export licences for the cheese quota opened by the United States of America;
  • export licences for the milk powder quota opened by the Dominican Republic;

While import licences can be transferable (except for the ones within the tariff quotas for fresh and frozen beef and veal and pigmeat originating in Canada), export licences cannot be transferred. Moreover, the transferee must be established and registered for VAT purposes in the Union.

Where the licence transfer concerns tariff quotas for which prior registration of operators is required, the transferee shall fulfil the following requirements prior to the licence transfer:

  • the transferee must be registered in the LORI electronic system;
  • the transferee must have submitted the declaration of independence referred to in Article 12 for the tariff quotas concerned by the licence transfer.

In order to apply for a specific tariff quota, operators shall prove that they exported from the Union or released for free circulation in the Union a minimum quantity of products of the sector concerned.

  • If the customs data can only be generated or submitted in paper format, the print out of the customs declarations shall be certified as a true copy by stamp and signature by the customs authorities of the Member State concerned. However, it is provided that licence issuing authorities and customs authorities may provide for simplified electronic formats for the documents and procedures.

The reference quantity shall be established on the basis of a certified print out of the customs declaration finalized for release for free circulation.

Operators may apply for tariff quotas for which prior registration of operators is required only if:

  • they are not linked with other legal or natural persons applying for the same tariff quota order number; or
  • they are linked with other legal or natural persons applying for the same tariff quota order number but regularly perform substantial economic activities.

An operator is considered to be linked with other legal or natural persons in the following cases:

  • if it owns or controls another legal person;
  • if it has family links to another natural person;
  • if it has an important business relationship with another legal or natural person.

Applications for registration in the LORI electronic system shall be made using an electronic form made available by the licence issuing authority to operators. In the same time, only operators established in the customs territory of the Union and having an EORI number may apply for registration in the LORI electronic system. The application for registration shall be submitted at least two months before the month in which the operator intends to submit its licence application.

If the competent licence issuing authority finds that the information submitted by an operator for registration in the LORI electronic system or for a change in its LORI record is correct and up to date and complies with this Regulation and with Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/761, it will validate the registration or the change and, then, notify the Commission of the validation through the LORI electronic system.

Based on the notification of the licence issuing authority, the Commission will register the applicant in the LORI electronic system and inform the licence issuing authority of the registration. Once the operator is registered in the LORI electronic system, the registration is valid until its withdrawal.

The withdrawal of the registration can happen in the following cases:

  • upon request by the registered operator;
  • if the registered operator no longer meets the conditions and eligibility requirements for applying for tariff quotas requiring compulsory registration for operators.

The Regulations gives the possibility of any operator registered in the LORI electronic system, which suspects that another registered operator does not meet the conditions and eligibility requirements for applying for tariff quotas for which prior registration is required, to submit complaints to the licence issuing authority of the Member State where they are established and registered for VAT purposes.

In case the complaint is deemed founded, the licence issuing authority shall follow it up with the controls. If the controlled operator is established and registered for VAT purposes in another Member State, the licence issuing authority of that Member State shall provide the necessary assistance. Upon finalisation of the control, the result will be recorded in the LORI electronic system, as part of its LORI record.

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