The new Union Customs Code (UCC) will come into force on 1st May 2016 and it will replace existing EU Customs rules. The new rules are essentially designed to simplify and modernise procedures, where all communication is electronic. Any importer who has current Customs guarantees in place for processes such as Inward Processing Relief (IPR) for example, are recommended to check with their authorising Customs department as these companies will need to re-apply for authorisation.
New regulations will come into force from 1st July 2016 (SOLAS VI Regulation 2), which will expand on how the gross mass of cargo and container tare weights must be verified. The changes in the rules are as a result of incidents, reports and concerns from the carriers that the actual weight of cargo is often different to the declared weight, thus putting lives and equipment in danger whilst at sea and in port. From 1st July, the Shipper will be responsible to provide the carrier/forwarder with a Verified Gross Mass (VGM), and therefore can no longer estimate to give an approximate weight.
Air pollutant emissions from maritime transport where cargo is transported over long distances, contribute to the air quality problems in the EU. The findings from ‘The Thematic Strategy 2005’ concluded that sulphur emissions from shipping were forecast to exceed those from all land-based sources by 2020.