Uniform customs administration is of great importance for the EU and the competitiveness of EU businesses in global trade. However, the EU's so-called executive federalism raises the potential for the non-uniform application of EU customs law. This problem has already arisen in the European Communities - Selected Customs Matters WTO dispute settlement. Therefore, the central research question of this book concerns the challenge presented to executive federalism in the EU Customs Union by the WTO. It also examines those safeguard measures for uniform customs administration which are in operation. Valuable empirical analysis of the decision-making procedures and practices of the national customs authorities allows for the fullest understanding of the operation of the customs administration. An important feature of the exploration is its analysis of the reform of EU customs law and of the effectiveness of the European Union's strategies to enhance uniform customs administration. That analysis helps to identify potential weak points in the decentralised administration of EU customs law and suggests ways in which it might be improved. Scholarly, rigorous and timely, this important study will be required reading for all scholars of EU customs law.
Kathrin Limbach is a Research Associate at the German Research Institute for Public Administration at Speyer.
Part I: Introduction 1. Uniform Customs Administration in the European Union Part II: The EU Customs Union and the WTO 2. The EU Customs Union in the European Union's Legal System I. EU Customs Law as a Pioneer for the Europeanisation of Administrative Law II. History of the EU Customs Union III. Current Legal Framework of the EU Customs Union IV. The Need for a Reform of EU Customs Law to Enhance Uniform Customs Administration V. Conclusion 3. Standards of WTO Law: Uniformity of the Administration of Law According to Article X:3(a) GATT 1994 and its Implications for EU Customs Law I. Exigencies of Uniformity in Article X:3(a) GATT 1994 II. Relevance for the Administration of EU Customs Law III. Conclusion Part III: The Great Reform of EU Customs 4. Modernised Customs Code, Electronic Customs Initiative and the Future Customs Initiative I. The Security Amendment- A Minor Reform II. The Need for a Great Reform: The Changing Environment and New Role for EU Customs III. Simplifying Legislation: The `Better Regulation' Initiative IV. The Electronic Customs Initiative V. The Future Customs Initiative VI. Conclusion 5. Recast of the Great Reform: The Union Customs Code and European IT Strategy I. Legal Aspects II. IT Aspects III. Operational Aspects IV. Conclusion Part IV: Implementation of the European Union's Customs Law and Strategies for Enhancing Uniform Administration 6. The System of Decentralised Implementation in EU Customs Administration I. Status Quo and Development Regarding an EU Customs Procedure Union II. Status Quo and Development Regarding an EU Customs Administration Union A. The Legal Possibility for Direct Implementation in EU Customs Administration 1. The Principle of Subsidiarity 2. Criteria for the Need of Uniform Implementing Conditions Pursuant to Article 291 Paragraph 2 TFEU 3. Conclusion B. Special Provisions in EU Customs Law Regarding Administrative Organisation 1. Community Customs Code 2. Union Customs Code C. Conclusion 7. Administrative Cooperation as a Strategy for Enhancing Uniform Customs Administration I. Legal Basis for Customs Cooperation II. Rules for Mutual Assistance of Administrative Bodies in EU Customs Law III. Ad Hoc Cooperation in EU Customs Administration Practice IV. Customs Action Programme V. Conclusion 8. Role, Competences and Strategies of the European Commission I. Legislative Functions and `Quasi-Legislative' Functions II. Administrative Functions III. Assistance by the Customs Code Committee IV. Conclusion 9. Summarising the Implementation System of EU Customs Law Part V: Specific Areas of EU Customs 10. Special Tools and Mechanisms for `Uniformisation' of EU Customs Law Implementation in Specific Areas of EU Customs I. Classification II. Valuation III. Origin IV. Conclusion Part VI: Final Conclusion 11. Potential for Improving Uniform Customs Administration ................... 299