European partners continue to share their expertise in alignment of customs legislation to prepare Ukraine for EU accession

In a significant step towards EU accession, EU4PFM continues consultations with the Ministry of Finance and State Customs Service to align the Ukrainian Customs Code with EU customs legislation. Drawing on Poland’s experience, these discussions highlight the complexities and help to elaborate strategies of this critical transition.

EU customs legislation includes the Union Customs Code (UCC), Delegated Acts (DA), Implementing Acts (IA), trade measures, non-fiscal regulations, international agreements, global guidelines, and manuals. Member States can add supplementary provisions, but the core EU customs legislation remains consistent.

Magdalena Rzeczkowska, an EU4PFM expert and former Minister of Finance of Poland (2022-2023), presented Poland’s experience aligning legislation with EU customs regulations. Poland’s full alignment strategy, adopted well before its EU accession, offers a valuable blueprint for Ukraine. Poland’s methodical approach involved near 1:1 mapping of the EU customs legal framework into its national system. Key steps included creating a dedicated customs service and formalizing operational guidelines through an Ordinance on Customs Service and the Customs Code.

Poland used a phased consultation approach, starting with the basics and addressing detailed regulations, ensuring comprehensive stakeholder engagement. More flexibility within the legal architecture allowed the elaboration of less complex Customs Code and more complex implementing regulations/acts. Poland’s strategy yielded several advantages. The Customs Code, requiring parliamentary approval, was supplemented by regulations and notices, allowing quicker amendments. A step-by-step legislative process facilitated the EU Commission’s assessment and acceptance of Poland’s alignment efforts.