Non-Union goods destined for the Union market or for private use or consumption within the customs territory of the Union are placed under the release for free circulation procedure.

Release for free circulation entails

  • the collection of import duties due;
  • the collection, as appropriate, of other charges as provided for under the relevant provisions in force relating to the collection of such charges;
  • the application of commercial policy measures, prohibitions and restrictions, unless they are to be applied at an earlier stage;
  • the completion of the other formalities laid down for the importation of goods.

Release for free circulation confers on non-Union goods the customs status of Union goods.

This procedure presupposes a declaration of entry for the procedure.

The customs operation entails the following customs activity

  • the application of commercial policy measures (verification of import licences, absence of prohibitions, existence and capacity of quotas, etc.);
  • the completion of other formalities required for the import of goods (sanitary and phytosanitary controls, etc.);
  • the application of the duties legally due according to Community legislation.

If the goods are also intended to be released for consumption in the territory of the State with the fulfilment of the internal taxation provided for by national legislation, the definitive importation of the goods takes place.

Reference legislation:

Art. 162-163 -201 et seq. of Reg.(EU) 952/2013 (Union Customs Code)
Annex B of Reg.(EU) 2015/2446 (Delegated Regulation)