Tag Archives: Transit

Facilitated Transit Document

Facilitated Transit Document

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Facilitated Transit Document

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Facilitated Transit Document (FTD) and Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD)

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 693/2003 of 14 April 2003 establishing a specific Facilitated Transit Document (FTD), a Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD) and amending the Common Consular Instructions and the Common Manual.

Summary

This Regulation establishes a Facilitated Transit Document (FTD) * and a Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD) * for the specific and direct transit by land of third country nationals who must necessarily cross the territory of one or more Member States of the European Union (EU) in order to travel between two parts of their own country which are not geographically contiguous.

Scope and validity

The FTD and the FRTD have the same value as transit visas and are territorially valid for the issuing Member State. The FTD is valid for a maximum period of up to three years and transit based on the FTD will not exceed 24 hours. The FRTD is valid for a maximum period of up to three months and transit based on the FRTD will not exceed six hours.

No FTD/FRTD can be affixed in a travel document that has expired or with a period of validity shorter than that of the FTD/FRTD.

Conditions and issuing procedure

In order to obtain an FTD/FRTD, the applicants must meet the following conditions:

  • possess a valid document, authorising them to cross external borders;
  • not be persons for whom an alert has been issued for the purposes of refusing entry;
  • not be considered to be a threat to public policy or the international relations of any of the Member States;
  • for the FTD, have valid reasons for frequent travelling between the two parts of the territory of their country.

The application for an FTD/FRTD is presented to the consular authorities of a Member State. This procedure provides for the submission of documentation demonstrating the need for frequent travel, such as documents concerning family links or social, economic or other motives.

The fee corresponding to the administrative costs of processing the application for an FTD is EUR 5. The FRTD is issued free of charge.

Issuing and refusal of the document

The FTD/FRTD are issued by the consular offices of the Member States and may not be issued at the border.

The procedures, and appeal in cases where the consular post of a Member State refuses to examine an application or issue an FTD/FRTD, are governed by national law of the respective Member State. If an FTD/FRTD is refused, the reason will be communicated to the applicant, where required by national law.

Penalties are imposed on the holder of the FTD/FRTD in case of misuse. Such penalties will be effective, proportionate and dissuasive, and include the possibility of cancelling or revoking the FTD/FRTD.

Final provisions

Member States deciding to issue the FTD and the FRTD will communicate this decision to the Council and the Commission and the latter will publish it in the Official Journal. If Member States decide to stop issuing the FTD and the FRTD they will communicate that decision to the Council and the Commission and the latter will publish it in the Official Journal.

The Commission will report to the European Parliament and the Council on the functioning of the FTD/FRTD scheme at the latest three years after the entry into force of the first decision taken by a Member State to issue FTD/FRTD.

Key terms used in the act
  • Facilitated Transit Document (FTD): a specific authorisation allowing for a facilitated transit, which may be issued by Member States for multiple entries by whatever means of land transport. The FTD will be issued in the form of uniform formats in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 694/2003.
  • Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD): a specific authorisation allowing for facilitated transit, which may be issued by Member States for a single entry and return by rail. The FRTD will be issued in the form of uniform formats in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 694/2003.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 693/2003

18.04.2003

L 99 of 17.4.2003

Related Acts

Council Regulation (EC) No 694/2003 of 14 April 2003 on uniform formats for Facilitated Transit Documents (FTD) and Facilitated Rail Transit Documents (FRTD) provided for in Regulation (EC) No 693/2003 [Official Journal L 99, 17.04.2003].
FTD/FRTD are produced in the form of a uniform format (sticker) and have the same value as transit visas. They conform to the specifications set out in Annexes I and II to the Regulation. Further technical specifications for FTD and FRTD are established relating to additional security requirements (including anti-forgery) and technical processes and rules for the filling in of the uniform FTD/FRTD. These specifications are not published.

Transit Kaliningrad – Russian mainland: proposals and implementation

Transit Kaliningrad – Russian mainland: proposals and implementation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Transit Kaliningrad – Russian mainland: proposals and implementation

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Transit Kaliningrad – Russian mainland: proposals and implementation

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council of 18 September 2002 – Kaliningrad: Transit [COM (2002) 510 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication takes stock of the discussions held between the European Union (EU) and Russia concerning the transit of persons and goods to and from Kaliningrad oblast. It does not cover small border traffic since this issue is not specific to the situation of Kaliningrad.

Assessment

On the key political issue, movement of people, the Schengen acquis is based on the principle that the EU’s security can best be protected if persons transiting through the territory of EU Member States provide adequate documentation. The visa requirement for Russian citizens will remain as long as Russia appears on the list of third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders of the Member States of the EU.

In addition to the flexibilities set out in the “Common Line” * (cheap or free multiple-entry transit visas), the Commission believes that issuing a special transit document (“Facilitated Transit Document”) should be considered. The document would be deemed equivalent to a multiple-entry transit visa for bona-fide persons who are Russia citizens travelling frequently and directly between Kaliningrad and the Russian mainland. Lists of frequent travellers could be provided in advance by the Russian authorities. The Document would then be issued at low cost or free of charge by the consulates of the candidate countries concerned.

The Commission is willing to study further the feasibility of visa exemption for passengers on non-stop trains. The security of these trains would require that they travel at sufficiently high speed, and that the coaches are so constructed, as to prevent passengers from leaving the train without the permission of the Lithuanian authorities.

The introduction of the Facilitated Transit Document would require:

  • the full cooperation of the candidate countries and adequate administrative and financial support from the European Commission;
  • the full cooperation of Russia, especially regarding:
  • the establishment of new consulates;
  • the provision of lists of Russian citizens considered eligible for the “Facilitated Transit Document”;
  • the readmission of overstayers by way of the conclusion and implementation of a readmission agreement and the ratification of the border agreement with Lithuania;
  • acceleration of the procedure for issuance of international passports to its citizens within a fixed timetable. During a short transitional period, internal Russian passports could be accepted in conjunction with visas/Facilitated Transit Documents.

The EU would need to guarantee to the candidate countries that their acceptance, and implementation, of the above flexibilities would not in itself create any risk of delay in lifting internal border controls, i.e. full integration into the Schengen area.

The Commission recommends that the EU’s position be based on the following package of measures in addition to what has already been set out in the Common Line of 13 May 2001:

  • a “Facilitated Transit Document” could be issued by consular authorities in EU or candidate countries to Russian citizens travelling by road or rail. This would assume Russian cooperation in quickly agreeing to the establishment of new consulates requested by Lithuania;
  • the Facilitated Transit Document would not be issued at the border;
  • the EU should examine the Russian proposal to open discussions on defining the conditions necessary for the eventual establishment of a visa-free travel regime;
  • solutions to the problem of movement of people and goods should be paralleled by broader cooperation regarding the future of the Kaliningrad region.

Background

The Seville European Council invited the Commission to submit an additional study on the possibilities for a solution to the transit of persons and goods to and from Kaliningrad. This Communication is the Commission’s response on this issue.

Key terms used in the act
  • Common Line: The Common Line agreed by the General Affairs Council on 13 May 2002 (document 8304/02) sets out the basic positions of the Schengen acquis and provides for flexibilities including: issue of multiple-entry visas which could be valid for a substantial period of time. These include favourable treatment for certain professionals such as lorry drivers and could be issued on a case by case basis; before the lifting of internal border controls, flexibility on visa fees; visa exemption for certain categories of persons (e.g. holders of diplomatic and service passports and air and sea crew members).
  • FRTD: Facilitated Rail Transit Document
  • FTD: Facilitated Transit Document

Related Acts

Report from the Commission of 22 December 2006 on the functioning of the facilitated transit for persons between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the Russian Federation [COM (2006) 840 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The Commission is pleased that, three years after its entry into force, the facilitated transit system is running smoothly and both partners are satisfied with the implementation. The FTD/FRTD system * seems also to fulfil the requirements of the Schengen acquis, as no illegal immigration under this scheme has been noted.

Therefore the Commission sees no need to change the system. In a long-term perspective, the facilitated transit regime will depend on the future development of visa policy arrangements between the EU and Russia.

The Commission will continue to support the transit scheme financially through the External Borders Fund.

Two points still await further examination:

  • The FRTD * is affixed on a separate form and not as required by Regulation (EC) No 693/2003 in the passport of the person travelling. As a consequence, there is no way of checking whether the FRTD is used for a single return trip or frequent trips. The correct application would also enhance requests for FTDs * as they can be obtained for multiple trips at the cost of EUR 5 (frequent traveller);
  • the question of shortening border control formalities could be discussed further on a bilateral basis if Lithuanian, Russian and Belarusian authorities are interested. Two possibilities appear feasible:
  • firstly, instead of two stops (one on each side of the border) to have only one stop at each border. Border authorities of both countries would carry out their controls simultaneously;
  • secondly, provide for an arrangement where both sides carry out their controls while the train is travelling.

 

Provisions implementing the Community Customs Code

Provisions implementing the Community Customs Code

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Provisions implementing the Community Customs Code

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Customs

Provisions implementing the Community Customs Code

Document or Iniciative

Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93 of 2 July 1993 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code.

Summary

This regulation contains the implementing provisions for the Community Customs Code. It combines the implementing provisions for European customs law in a single document. It covers:

  • general implementing provisions;
  • customs-approved treatments or uses;
  • privileged operations;
  • customs debt and certain controls.

GENERAL IMPLEMENTING PROVISIONS

These general provisions cover areas such as binding information, the origin of goods, their value and customs declarations.

Binding information

Binding information refers to a tariff information (BTI) or an origin information (BOI):

  • a BTI is written information issued by European Union (EU) customs authorities concerning the classification of goods in the Combined Nomenclature or a nomenclature derived from it such as the TARIC;
  • a BOI is written information issued by EU’s customs authorities concerning the preferential or non-preferential origin of specific goods to be imported or exported.

A BOI request is sent either to the customs authorities in the EU country in which the information is to be used, or to the customs authorities in the EU country in which the requester is established. Applicants for BOIs must be notified within a specific time frame.

A BTI request is made using an application form corresponding to the model set out in the regulation.

Origin of goods

The regulation sets out the criteria for conferring on products the origin of the country where they were manufactured. This covers two types of origin for goods:

  • non-preferential origin;
  • preferential origin.

For goods of non-preferential origin, it specifies the working or processing needed to satisfy the criteria set out in the Customs Code. This confers on such products the origin of the country where they were worked or processed. The Customs Code lays down that goods whose production involves two or more countries originate in the country where the last substantial processing or working took place.

For preferential origin, the regulation sets out the conditions under which goods may acquire an origin that makes them eligible for preferential tariff measures. These preferential tariff measures are adopted unilaterally by the EU for certain countries or territories (developing countries, via the generalised system of preferences (GSP), or countries and territories of the Western Balkans). To be granted such a preferential origin, a product must be wholly obtained in the beneficiary country, or result from sufficient processing of goods imported from a third country. The regulation also sets out the criteria for sufficient processing for the various product categories, and the procedures that must be respected.

Customs value

The source of the legislation on customs valuation is the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement on customs valuation. This agreement was transposed into the Community Customs Code and its implementing provisions. The main goal of customs evaluation is the application of the Community customs tariff. Customs evaluation is used for calculating customs duties, and has an impact on value added tax (VAT), statistics and the implementation of trade policy. The customs value of imported goods is their transaction value, i.e. the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to the customs territory of the Community. When that price cannot be determined, customs value is calculated according to a sequence of various criteria.

Entry of goods into the customs territory

Goods may be examined or samples may be taken from them once they have entered the customs territory of the Community. Permission to examine goods is granted to the person empowered to assign the goods a customs-approved treatment or use at his oral request. The taking of samples may be authorised only at the written request of the person concerned.

Customs declaration

The regulation sets out provisions that concern customs declarations made usually:

  • in writing, particularly regarding the forms to use, the information required and the accompanying documents;
  • by computer;
  • orally.

Simplified procedures

Simplified procedures apply to the release for free circulation, declarations for a customs procedure with economic impact (such as customs warehousing, processing procedures, processing under customs control and the temporary importation procedure) and export declarations.

CUSTOMS-APPROVED TREATMENT OR USE

The provisions covering customs-approved treatment or use mainly cover:

  • release for free circulation;
  • the customs status of goods and transit;
  • customs procedures with economic impact;
  • implementing provisions for the export of goods and their transport out of the customs territory of the Community.

Customs status of goods

All goods on the customs territory of the Community are considered Community goods.

The following are not considered to be Community goods:

  • non-Community goods brought into the customs territory of the Community which have been subject to customs supervision from the time of their entry;
  • goods in temporary storage or in a free zone or free warehouse;
  • goods placed under a suspensive procedure.

If goods are not considered to be Community goods, their Community status can only be established if they are:

  • brought from another EU country without crossing the territory of a non-EU country on the way;
  • brought from another EU country through the territory of a non-EU country and carried under cover of a single transport document;
  • brought from another EU country and transhipped in a non-EU country on a means of transport other than that onto which they were initially loaded, with a single transport document from the EU country which can be consulted.

Transit

The external transit procedure governs movement on the customs territory of the Community. It applies:

  • to non-Community goods with suspension of payment of customs duties and other import taxes;
  • to Community goods in certain instances set out in the legislation.

The internal transit procedure maintains the Community status of goods when, between their point of departure and arrival inside the EU, they are obliged to pass through a non-EU country.

Transit may be carried out using the procedures set out in the legislation, most importantly Community transit and the TIR procedure.

Customs procedures with economic impact

These arrangements allow certain economic activities to be carried out without incurring customs duties, and thus to attract and maintain economic activities in the EU. They enable, for example, the storage of non-Community goods on the customs territory of the Community or the import of raw materials with a view to further processing and subsequent re-exportation. The different arrangements are:

  • customs warehousing;
  • inward processing;
  • processing under customs control;
  • the temporary importation procedure (this governs the conditions for total relief from import duties on certain special-purpose goods);
  • outward processing.

Export

The export procedure allows Community goods to leave the customs territory of the Community. Other than goods undergoing outward processing or subject to a transit procedure, all Community goods leaving the customs territory are subject to the export procedure.

The exporter is the person on whose behalf the declaration is made and who, when it is accepted, is the owner of the goods in question or has a similar right of disposal over them. Where ownership or a similar right of disposal over the goods belongs to a person who is established outside the EU, the exporter is considered to be the contracting party established in the EU.

Goods leaving the customs territory of the Community

The regulation sets out the conditions which apply to goods that, moving from one point in the customs territory of the Community to another, temporarily leave that territory, whether or not crossing the territory of a third country, and whose removal or export from the customs territory of the Community is prohibited or is subject to restrictions.

PRIVILEGED OPERATIONS

These provisions concern Community goods which are brought back into the customs territory of the Community after export (returned goods). The aim is to stop import duties being charged when exported Community goods are returned, for example because they could not be sold or were defective. The title also governs cases where the EU has paid export refunds or other such financial benefits, for example under the Common Agricultural Policy.

CUSTOMS DEBT

The regulation specifies the cases in which failures can be considered as having no significant effect on the operation of temporary storage or of the customs procedure. It also deals with natural wastage and goods in special situations, such as abandoned goods. It also specifies the conditions under which post-clearance entry of the customs debt in the accounts is not obligatory as well as the relevant procedures.

Repayment or remission of import or export duties

The general provisions relating to repayment or remission lay down how to apply and explain the procedure for granting applications. They lay down which decisions should be taken by the EU countries’ customs authorities and which by the Commission, and provide for administrative assistance between EU countries’ customs authorities.

CONTROLS ON USE AND DESTINATION

Application of the rules may be subject to proof that the goods in question comply with the conditions prescribed for their use or destination. That proof is supplied by a “T5 control copy” drawn up and used in accordance with the relevant provisions.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93

14.10.1993

L 253 of 11.10.1993

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 2454/93 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.