All you need to know about the simplified declaration

All you need to know about the simplified declaration

In the complex world of international trade, companies are constantly looking for ways to optimize their customs clearance operations and speed up the transit of their goods across borders. Simplified declaration is emerging as a strategic solution to these challenges. Supervised by the customs authorities, this procedure offers a flexible alternative to the traditional customs clearance process, enabling companies to import or export their products with greater efficiency and reduced administrative constraints. By reducing complexity and minimizing the time needed to release goods, the simplified declaration plays a crucial role in keeping international trade flowing smoothly, thus boosting the competitiveness of companies on the global market. This system, which requires prior authorization, reflects the commitment of customs administrations to facilitating trade while ensuring strict application of current regulations.

Understanding the simplified declaration

Definition and objectives

Simplified declaration embodies a flexible approach to the goods clearance process. Designed as an effective alternative to standard procedures, which are perceived as complex and time-consuming, this method enables goods to be cleared by initially providing a reduced set of information. This procedural adaptation is specially designed to facilitate the release of goods, while guaranteeing compliance with customs regulations. Its main objective is to simplify international trade by enabling companies to navigate more easily through the customs clearance stages, thanks to a two-stage process that falls within the fiscal period. The aim is not only to reduce waiting times, but also to offer greater flexibility in managing the necessary information and documents, while ensuring efficient and secure customs control.

In accordance with Article 166 of the CDU, the simplified declaration enables goods to be placed under a customs procedure by omitting part of the declaration particulars or certain accompanying documents, thus offering a flexible alternative to the traditional customs clearance process.

General operation

There are several key stages in the operation of the simplified declaration, from the initial submission of the declaration to the complete provision of the required information and documents. The first step is to submit an initial declaration, which includes the essential information needed to identify the goods and apply the relevant regulations. This declaration may take the form of a partially completed Document Administratif Unique (DAU), for example.

Once this initial declaration has been accepted, the goods can be released for their intended use, enabling companies to benefit from fluidity in their operations without waiting for the full declaration process. The second stage involves completing this declaration with all the missing information and documents, within a timeframe agreed with the customs authorities. This two-stage process enables companies to manage their flow of goods more efficiently, while complying with regulatory requirements.

The simplified declaration corresponds to the set of data required by the regulations, and is mainly intended to guarantee the customs and/or tax debt as soon as the goods are introduced. The supplementary declaration, on the other hand, is required to provide missing data such as transport and value information. Together, these two elements form what is considered a normal declaration.

The period allowed for completing the information via the supplementary declaration varies, with windows of 10, 15 or 30 days depending on the specific requirements of the customs regime applied.

It's crucial to recognize that the two-stage simplified declaration procedure actually comprises three essential stages: the initial submission of the simplified declaration, the individual completion of this declaration with the necessary specific data, and the final validation of the global Supplementary Declaration.

The simplified declaration is therefore an invaluable tool for those involved in international trade, offering them greater flexibility and optimized customs clearance times, key elements in supporting their competitiveness on the global market.

Implementation process

Eligibility and prerequisites

To be eligible for the simplified declaration scheme, a company must meet a number of criteria, thus affirming its commitment to operating in accordance with European Union standards and regulatory requirements. A fundamental condition is that the company must be located in the EU customs territory, enabling it to benefit from this procedure. In addition, it is required to demonstrate full compliance with customs, tax and criminal legislation, as evidenced by the absence of serious or repeated infringements.

Instead of direct customs control of operations, the company must set up an effective system of self-control, enabling adequate examination and verification of the conformity of its declarative operations, to the extent of around 5% of the latter, similar to that required for Authorized Economic Operator (AEO). This requirement underlines the importance of rigorous internal management and proactive responsibility in monitoring regulatory compliance. These criteria are designed to ensure that only reliable, well-structured companies have access to the flexibility afforded by simplified declaration.

Authorization procedure

Obtaining authorization to use the simplified declaration is a crucial step, underlining the importance of formal approval by the customs authorities before this type of declaration can be applied. Application for authorization must be made using a specific form, accompanied by all the necessary supporting documents, including a detailed list of the goods concerned. This process can be carried out by various means: by post, by direct delivery, or by electronic transmission, offering companies a degree of flexibility in the management of their request.

The customs authorities carry out a rigorous assessment of the application, to ensure that the applicant company meets all the eligibility criteria and is able to manage the simplified declaration system effectively. Once authorization has been granted, it enables the company to benefit from an accelerated and simplified customs clearance process, facilitating its international business activities. It is important to note that this authorization can also be granted to a company acting as a customs representative on behalf of other entities, thus extending the benefits of simplified declaration to a wider range of economic operators.

Advantages of simplified declaration

The implementation of the simplified declaration brings a host of significant advantages for companies engaged in international trade. This modified approach to goods clearance stands out for its ability to optimize trade flows and reduce border waiting times, offering real added value to economic operators.

One of the main benefits is theacceleration of the customs clearance process. By enabling the filing of a declaration containing a minimum of information at the outset, companies can take possession of their goods more quickly, thus promoting the continuity of their supply chain without major interruptions. This increased efficiency is particularly valuable in a context where time is a critical factor in competitiveness.

The simplified declaration also helps to reduce the administrative complexity of customs clearance. By simplifying documentation requirements, and offering the option of completing the required information at a later date, companies benefit from a significant reduction in administrative burdens. This translates not only into time savings, but also into a reduction in the operational costs associated with managing customs formalities.

Flexibility is another key advantage of this procedure. By adapting to companies' specific needs and enabling a smoother approach to customs clearance, simplified declaration supports business agility in a constantly evolving business environment. This adaptability is essential if we are to respond effectively to the logistical challenges and opportunities of the global marketplace.

The possibility of being represented by another company authorized to make the simplified declaration broadens the horizons for companies not directly authorized to do so. This enables greater collaboration within the trade and customs ecosystem, promoting further integration into international value chains.

In short, the simplified declaration represents a strategic lever for companies seeking to improve their operational efficiency and strengthen their position on the international market, thanks to streamlined and more accessible customs procedures.

Practical details

The simplified declaration procedure is structured to offer companies a fast and efficient way to clear their goods through customs. Here are the key steps and documents required to successfully navigate this process.

Filing the declaration

Simplified declarations are submitted primarily via the DELTA G and DELTA X online platforms, designed to facilitate customs procedures for companies within the European Union. These digital services enable users to submit their declarations securely and intuitively, guaranteeing fast, efficient processing. Companies can choose the customs office of their choice, or any other location previously designated or approved by the customs authorities, to submit their declarations, offering considerable flexibility in the management of their logistics operations.

Documents and forms required

To complete the simplified declaration, a number of documents and information are required. Initially, the company must prepare an incomplete Single Administrative Document (SAD), which includes information essential for identifying the goods and applying the appropriate customs and tax measures. This document must be accompanied by a request for authorization for the simplified declaration, if this has not already been obtained.

The complete list of documents to be provided may include, but is not limited to:

  • Application for simplified declaration authorization, using a specific form.
  • An appendix to the form, listing the goods covered by the simplified declaration.
  • A step-by-step guide or instructions for filling in the application form correctly.

These documents can be submitted in a number of ways: by post, directly to the relevant department, or electronically via the customs authorities' dedicated e-mail box. This flexible submission process ensures that companies can choose the most suitable method for their operational needs and constraints.

To make the process easier for companies, additional information and specific guides to filling in the forms are often available, demystifying the submission stages and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

Case studies and examples

The adoption of the simplified declaration by various companies across the European Union has highlighted the tangible benefits of this procedure. Although specific company details are not disclosed here, the following examples illustrate how this simplified customs regime has facilitated international trade operations and boosted logistical efficiency.

Electronic components manufacturing company

A company specializing in the manufacture of electronic components for the automotive industry has integrated simplified declaration into its logistics strategy. Faced with fluctuating demand and the need to reduce delivery times, the company used simplified declaration to speed up the import of critical raw materials. Thanks to the simplified procedure, it was able to significantly reduce border waiting times, thus improving the responsiveness of its supply chain and customer satisfaction.

International wine and spirits trading company

An international trading company specializing in the export of wines and spirits to various countries within the EU has taken advantage of simplified declaration to optimize its shipments. The ability to clear products through customs quickly enabled the company to maintain efficient stock rotation and respond promptly to specific customer orders. This increased agility has strengthened its competitive position in the European market.

These examples demonstrate the versatility and effectiveness of simplified declaration in a variety of sectors, underlining its role as a key facilitator for companies seeking to successfully navigate the complex landscape of international trade. By enabling fast, flexible customs clearance, simplified declaration makes a significant contribution to optimizing cross-border value chains.

Points of attention and advice

Effectively navigating the simplified reporting process requires a well-informed and strategic approach. Here are some key tips for maximizing the benefits of this procedure, while ensuring compliance and risk management.

1. In-depth knowledge of requirements

A detailed understanding of the eligibility criteria and regulatory requirements for simplified reporting is essential. This includes industry-specific conditions, required documents, and any restrictions. Regular training of teams involved in customs operations is recommended to keep their knowledge up to date.

2. Document preparation and organization

Make sure that all the necessary documents are properly prepared and organized before submitting your simplified declaration. This reduces the risk of delays due to missing or incorrect information. Using a checklist can be a useful way of verifying file completeness.

3. Use of digital platforms

Take full advantage of the DELTA G and DELTA X platforms for filing your returns. Familiarize yourself with these online tools to optimize the submission process and benefit from real-time monitoring of the status of your declarations.

4. Strategic shipment planning

Plan your shipments taking into account simplified declaration processing times and goods-in capacities. Close coordination with logistics partners can help minimize downtime and optimize goods flows.

5. Internal audit and compliance

Set up internal procedures to audit your declaration processes on a regular basis. This includes verifying compliance with customs regulations and implementing the necessary corrections in the event of deviations. A customs risk management system can help to proactively identify and mitigate potential compliance issues.

6. Collaboration with experts

Consider working with customs representatives or specialist advisors to navigate the more complex aspects of simplified declaration. Their expertise can prove invaluable in ensuring regulatory compliance and optimizing customs strategies.

7. Regulatory watch

Keep abreast of changes in customs regulations and updates to declaration procedures. Regulatory intelligence is crucial to anticipate necessary adjustments in your customs operations and avoid unexpected interruptions.

By following this advice, companies can make the most of the simplified declaration regime, ensuring efficient and compliant management of their customs operations, while minimizing the risks associated with international trade.

Towards simplified customs

In a nutshell, the simplified declaration is a path towards more agile and efficient customs management for European companies. It streamlines procedures, reduces delays and facilitates international trade. Adopting this method means choosing a proactive approach to successfully navigate customs challenges. This tool is an invitation to optimize your operations and explore new business opportunities with confidence and efficiency.


  1. What is a simplified declaration?
    Simplified declaration is a customs process that enables companies to speed up the import or export of their goods by initially providing less information. This simplifies administrative formalities, reduces customs clearance times and facilitates international trade.
  2. Who can benefit from the simplified declaration?
    Any company established in the European Union and meeting the eligibility criteria, particularly in terms of customs, tax and criminal law compliance, can benefit from the simplified declaration. It must also demonstrate efficient management of its customs operations.
  3. How do I obtain authorization for the simplified declaration?
    To obtain authorization, the company must submit an application to the relevant customs authorities, together with the required supporting documents. The process includes an assessment of the company's compliance with the eligibility criteria.
  4. What are the benefits of simplified declaration?
    The benefits include a significant reduction in customs clearance times, a reduction in the administrative burden, and an improvement in the fluidity of international trade. This enables companies to be more competitive in the global marketplace.
  5. What information is required for the initial declaration?
    The initial declaration must include essential information about the goods, such as description, value, origin, and consignee. The details required may vary depending on the nature of the goods and the specific requirements of the customs authorities.
  6. Are there any restrictions or limitations on the use of the simplified declaration?
    Yes, the use of the simplified declaration is subject to certain conditions and restrictions, including the types of goods eligible and the specific requirements of the customs authorities. It is important to consult local regulations for further details.
  7. Is the simplified declaration recognized internationally?
    Although the simplified declaration facilitates trade within the EU and with certain partner countries, procedures and recognition may vary outside the EU. It is advisable to check the trade agreements and customs regulations of the recipient country.
  8. Can a simplified declaration be modified after submission?
    Yes, modifications may be necessary and are generally authorized by the customs authorities. However, this must be done within the established deadlines and procedures, and may require justification or additional documentation.

In the complex landscape of customs operations, Nabu is the solution that enables companies to be more efficient, fast and competitive. By centralizing, unifying and controlling shipping data, Nabu simplifies processes and ensures that every system and stakeholder has the right information, in the right format, at the right time.

Optimize your customs processes with Nabu.

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