What is Delta I/E?

What is Delta I/E?

The evolution of information and communication technologies has profoundly transformed global trade practices, underlining the importance of updating customs systems to respond effectively to contemporary requirements. In France, this need for modernization has been particularly acute, with traditional systems struggling to keep pace with the accelerating pace of international trade and new European regulations. This modernization aims not only to improve the efficiency of customs processes, but also to guarantee greater security for cross-border trade, while facilitating international trade and investment.

The Union Customs Code (UCC), which came into force on May 1, 2016, has been a major catalyst for these changes. The CDU aims to harmonize customs procedures across the European Union, introducing common standards and systems for all member states. Its main aim is to simplify customs procedures, enhance trade security and promote a secure, integrated e-commerce environment. In France, compliance with the CDU has necessitated a complete overhaul of existing customs systems, leading to the creation of new IT solutions such as the DELTA IE system, designed to replace the old DELTA G and X systems. This new system aims not only to bring France into line with CDU requirements, but also to offer a more robust platform that can be adapted to future regulatory and technological changes.

Historical background and development

The French customs landscape was once dominated by the DELTA C and DELTA D systems, two platforms that managed imports and exports respectively. In 2016, these systems were brought together under the DELTA G platforms, which continued to manage imports and exports, and NCTS for transit. Although functional, these systems presented significant limitations in terms of flexibility and ability to integrate with other European systems. The technologies on which they were based had become obsolete, making upgrades and adaptation to new regulatory and commercial requirements increasingly complex and costly. In addition, the fragmentation of customs systems within the EU led to inefficiencies, delays and complications for companies operating across European borders.

At present, we're moving towards DELTA IE for imports and exports, and NCTS (known as DELTA T in France) for transits.

The transition to DELTA IE became necessary with the entry into force of the Union Customs Code (UCC ) in 2016. The CDU imposed unified standards for the customs systems of all member states, aiming for full harmonization of customs clearance procedures across the Union. This regulatory framework has prompted France to rethink its systems to ensure optimal interconnectivity with the customs systems of other member countries, thereby facilitating intra-EU trade and increasing trade security.

DELTA IE has been designed to be an integrated system handling both imports and exports, capable of managing electronic customs declarations efficiently and securely, and adapting to future technological and regulatory developments. The new system promises not only to overcome the challenges posed by older systems, but also to actively support foreign trade by simplifying and accelerating customs procedures for all economic operators involved.

Introducing DELTA IE

DELTA IE (Import/Export) is the new online customs clearance service offered by French customs, designed to replace existing systems such as DELTA G, ECS BS, DELTA X. This system is a direct response to the requirements of the Customs Code of the Union (CDU), aimed at harmonizing and modernizing customs procedures on a European scale.

Initially, DELTA IE focuses on import operations, with future expansion planned to include export operations. The system enables customs declarations to be received and processed entirely electronically, providing a single interface for import and export management.

Major changes and simplifications

End of the traditional customs declaration form (DAU)

One of the most significant changes with the introduction of DELTA IE is the abandonment of the Single Administrative Document (SAD) in its current format. From now on, the customs declaration will take the form of a dataset sent electronically by the operator to customs. This dematerialization aims to simplify and accelerate the customs clearance process, while reducing human error and improving the traceability of customs operations.

Introduction of new terminologies and procedures (H1, B1, H7)

DELTA IE introduces new terminology and procedures. For example, the import "H1" and export "B1" customs declarations replace the former terminologies. The notification of presentation, a new computer message, indicates that the goods have arrived at the place of presentation, triggering acceptance of the advance customs declaration.

The advantages of electronic customs declarations

The dematerialization of customs declarations offers several advantages:

  • Increased efficiency: Processing times are significantly reduced, which is crucial for companies operating in a fast-paced, competitive business environment.
  • Enhanced security: Since information is transmitted electronically, the risk of errors is minimized and the traceability of exchanges is improved.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: the system is designed to adapt easily to future regulatory and technological developments.
  • European interconnectivity: DELTA IE enables greater interconnectivity with the customs systems of other EU member states, facilitating intra-European trade.

Although DELTA IE is still in the deployment phase and not yet fully operational, it represents an important step towards the modernization of customs procedures in France. The transition to this new system will require a period of adaptation for economic operators, but the benefits in terms of efficiency, security and regulatory compliance are undeniable.

Implementation schedule

Milestones and key dates from announcement to scheduled start-up

The implementation of DELTA IE follows a rigorously planned timetable, with several key stages to ensure a smooth transition and successful adoption by economic operators. Here are the main milestones:

  • 2016: The Union Customs Code (UCC) comes into force, marking the start of work to modernize and harmonize customs systems across the EU.
  • 2020: Initial announcement of DELTA IE, with initial design and development work on the new system.
  • 2023: DELTA IE import phase initially scheduled for July 15, but postponed to fine-tune technical aspects and ensure smooth commissioning.
  • November 2024: DELTA IE version 1 (V1) goes live for one-step procedures. This marks the start of practical use of the system for imports.
  • November 2024 - May 2025: 6-month transition period during which the DELTA-G Import and DELTA I systems will coexist. This phase will enable operators to gradually adapt to the new system.
  • May 2025: End of the transition period and full adoption of DELTA IE for imports.
  • By 2025: DELTA IE Export is scheduled to go live, completing the full integration of customs operations under the new system.

Progressive modifications planned for full adoption of the system

The transition to DELTA IE involves a number of gradual changes designed to optimize adoption of the new system by all users:

  1. End of the use of the SAD (a standard model has nevertheless been provided by customs): Transition to a dematerialized declaration system, with customs declarations treated as electronic data sets.
  2. Introduction of new terminology and procedures: Adoption of the new "H1" import and "B1" export customs declarations, as well as the notification of presentation.
  3. Extension of rectification and invalidation deadlines: The deadline for submitting rectification and invalidation requests electronically has been extended from 12 months to 3 years, with a wider range of rectifiable items.
  4. Overhaul of customs clearance relationships: Transition to a single customs clearance relationship (DECO), simplifying processes and reducing inefficiencies.
  5. Interoperability and automation: Development of a fully automated exchange system between EU member states for centralized Community customs clearance (CCD) operations, for both import and export.

These changes are designed to be implemented gradually, ensuring that all economic operators can adapt to the new requirements and benefit fully from the improvements brought about by DELTA IE. The transition period allows for smooth adoption, minimizing disruption and maximizing the efficiency of customs processes.

DELTA IE: A decisive step towards modernizing customs procedures

The deployment of DELTA IE represents a significant step forward in the modernization of customs procedures in France. This new system, aligned with the standards of the Customs Code of the Union (CCU), promises to transform customs operations thanks to several major benefits:

The move to DELTA IE will not only reduce declaration processing times thanks to the dematerialization and automation of processes, but also improve the traceability and security of cross-border exchanges by minimizing errors. This flexible, adaptable system is designed to adjust quickly to future regulatory and technological developments, guaranteeing ongoing compliance and increased efficiency for companies.

Interconnectivity with the customs systems of other EU member states will harmonize procedures, simplifying intra-European trade and boosting the competitiveness of French international trade.

As the implementation of DELTA IE takes shape, it is essential for all economic operators to keep abreast of updates and prepare for the changes ahead. The transition period offers an opportunity to gradually adapt to the new system and take full advantage of it.

DELTA IE therefore represents a very important step towards a more modern, efficient and secure customs system, supporting the dynamism and growth of international trade. It is imperative for trade operators to follow these developments closely, and prepare to integrate these new processes into their day-to-day operations.

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