Electronic Customs

The e-customs process offers companies and freight forwarders the possibility of simplified and efficient customs clearance, and constitutes the basis for the exchange of data throughout the EU. It is the most comprehensive electronic processing system of the Austrian customs administration, which not only uses the latest technologies, but also enables international communication in the customs sector.

As a result of e-customs, the customs clearance of goods and cargo in Austria has been placed on a new, modern footing. Applicants can now process all customs formalities without even leaving their desk.

It does not play a role where the goods are situated in Austria, provided they are in an “authorized location” (“zugelassener Warenort”). The whole process is paperless, since presentation of a written customs registration form is no longer required. All documents required for clearance remain with the company, and are only requested if the need arises.

Consequently, an automated risk analysis module is used. This risk analysis module functions according to a red/green principle. The red channel means checking of the goods by customs. Here, the relevant customer service team at the customs office responsible for the authorized location makes the control decision. The green channel signals authorization of the goods, which takes place within an average time of ten minutes. Following any control which is undertaken, the documents endorsed with confirmation of customs clearance are transmitted in electronic form. The print-outs are valid as confirmation of due customs clearance of the consignment in question.

For participation in e-customs, a licence must be obtained from the customs authority. As a general rule, this licence is issued to all those persons whose conduct to date suggests compliance with customs rules, and who meet certain conditions. Use of software ensuring proper and error-free data transmission from the company or freight forwarder is also a mandatory requirement.