The Automated Tariff and Local Customs Clearance System, ATLAS for short, is the customs software of the German customs administration, which thus provides digital and automated clearance and monitoring of cross-border goods traffic. Documents such as customs declarations or import duty notices are entered electronically and transmitted to the customs office. Corresponding decisions and notices from the customs office are also sent digitally.
Participation in the ATLAS procedure is obligatory in accordance with Art. 6 para. 1 UZK (Union Customs Code). According to the German Customs Directorate General, this article states that the exchange of information, such as declarations, applications or decisions, between economic operators and customs authorities must be carried out using electronic data processing.
advantage of ATLAS
The acceleration of registration procedures by dispensing with digital and thus paperless transmission is obvious. Within the framework of ATLAS, it is also possible in most cases to dispense with the submission of documents such as invoices or preference documents. An additional acceleration of the procedure is achieved by the possibility of submitting a customs declaration with ATLAS ahead of time, i.e. before the actual arrival of the goods. This means that a decision can be made in advance about the goods and they are also available earlier.
ATLAS Scope of functions
The following procedures can already be completely handled IT-supported by ATLAS.
The IT procedure ATLAS Import allows the release of non-Union goods for free circulation under the normal or simplified procedures, the placing of goods under the customs warehousing procedure and the inward processing procedure. The summary declaration (SumA) is used in the import area for declarations at sea and airport customs offices as well as inland and border customs offices.
The electronic export declaration has been mandatory since 1 July 2009 and applies to all declarations regardless of the mode of transport (road, rail, air, sea, postal transport). The electronic export declaration can be submitted by using a certified ATLAS participant software. Otherwise, the export declaration is available via Internet customs declaration. In the area of ATLAS export, the transfer to the export procedure under the normal and simplified procedures as well as the transfer of goods to the outward processing procedure is supported.
ATLAS dispatch (NCTS)
NCTS stands for the abbreviation New Computerized Transit System, on which more than 30 participating countries are constantly working. The ATLAS transit system is used to handle the transfer to the transit procedure as well as the ending and discharge of transit procedures. The simplified procedures “Authorised Consignor” (ZV) and “Authorised Consignee” (ZE) or “Authorised Consignee TIR” (ZT) are supported via the Participant Interface. If the dispatch cannot yet be handled by the Participant software, the Internet transit declaration is also available here. Since 2005, transit declarations in Germany have generally been submitted using IT and are only accepted in paper form in exceptional cases, e.g. transit declarations of travellers.
ATLAS-EAS (entry and exit summary declarations)
The Union Customs Code provides that goods brought into or out of the customs territory of the Union shall be covered by entry or exit summary declarations lodged with customs authorities in electronic form. As always, it is possible to do this by means of participant software or via the Internet. The summary data of non-Community goods are processed.
Electronic Customs Tariff (EZT)
The Electronic Customs Tariff (EZT) is available as part of the ATLAS IIT procedures as an EZT online on the Internet via the customs administration. This also includes data from TARIC (Tarif Intégré des Communautés Européennes, Integrated Tariff of the European Community) and also data such as import turnover tax and excise duty.