The European Commission has proposed a reform of the customs rules in the Union, which, among other things, provides for the introduction of customs duties for products whose value is lower than 150 euros. The proposed reform abolishes the current threshold on the basis of which goods with a value of less than 150 euros are exempted from customs duty, which was widely exploited by fraudsters. The commission states that it is a very common practice that packages entering the EU are currently devalued in order to avoid paying customs duties.

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According to the new proposal, online platforms will become key actors in ensuring that goods sold online in the EU meet all customs obligations. This is a significant shift from the current customs system, which places responsibility on individual consumers and carriers. Platforms will be responsible for ensuring that customs fees and VAT are paid at the time of purchase, so consumers will no longer be exposed to hidden fees or unexpected paperwork when collecting packages.

Given that online platforms are official importers, EU consumers can be sure that all taxes have been paid and that their purchase is safe and in line with EU environmental, safety, and ethical standards.

It also simplifies the calculation of customs duties for the most common low-value products bought outside the EU, reducing the thousands of possible customs categories to just four. This will greatly facilitate the calculation of customs duties for small packages, which will help platforms and customs authorities better process the billion pieces of goods purchased in e-commerce that enter the EU every year.

The new, tailored e-commerce regime is expected to generate additional customs revenues amounting to billions of euros per year.