Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council pursuant to Article 14(3) of Regulation (EU) 2019/880 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on the introduction and the import of cultural goods
Pursuant to Article 14(3) of Regulation (EU) 2019/880 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on the introduction and the import of cultural goods, on 31 July 2020 the European Commission published its first report to the European Parliament and the Council on the progress made in the establishment of the centralised electronic system for the import of cultural goods (ICG system), which should be operational by 28 June 2025 (six years from the entry into force of the Regulation), and which is closely linked to the implementation of the EU Single Window Certificate Exchange (EU-CSW CERTEX), to interconnect the ICG system with the Member States (MS) customs administrations.
The ICG system will be centrally managed by the Commission and the operators and Member State competent authorities will be able to use it through the Graphic User Interface (GUI).
The main advances reported by the Commission concern the preparation of the implementing provisions, for which the Commission:
- Is regularly consulting with MS delegates at the Expert Group on customs issues related to cultural goods;
- Is informing art market associations about the progress of work and taking into consideration their concerns in order to ensure an implementation adapted to the reality;
- Has established a discussion platform, “Customs 2020 Project Group on the import of cultural goods” (PGICG), to receive support from experts from national customs administrations and competent “cultural” authorities.
Whereas, among the main challenges related to the design of the ICG system, the Commission report highlights the difficulty of:
- Creating a standard data set particularized enough to allow an adequate identification of the objects meeting at once the e-licensing and declaration procedures’ needs and the market reality;
- Anticipating in the digital framework all the possible eventualities and needs related to the import license cycles;
- Conceiving a system compatible with existing national administrative procedures and practices that the MS developed over the years.
Finally, the implementing act will need to be voted by the Committee of Regulation 2019/880.