The new digital customs declaration

The reform of the customs declaration opens a new process for the digital transformation that will be completed in 2025. It provides for the replacement of the DAU model (Administrative Document) in favour of a new model, called EUCDM (European Union Customs Data Model) – defined at European level, according to an implementation plan foresees a gradual alignment of Member States’ customs information systems.

This digital transformation process started on 9 June 2022 with the implementation of the import customs declaration. The first step established the replacement of the “traditional” customs bill, based on the DAU format, with the MRN (Master Reference Number).

The four phases of the new import path

1 – REGISTRATION: incremental or single-solution sending of declaration data in the customs information system, according to H1-H7 datasets.

The datasets currently in force are:

  • H1 – Declaration of release for free circulation and end-use
  • H2 – Customs warehousing declaration
  • H3 – Temporary Admission Declaration
  • H4 – Inward Processing Declaration
  • H5 – Declaration for the introduction of goods in the trade framework with special tax territories.
  • H6 – Customs declarations in postal traffic for release for free circulation
  • H7 – Super Reduced Data Set for declaration of release for free circulation of goods of limited value up to 150 euro (already in force since 1 July 2021)

The shipment must be made exclusively in electronic format in the customs information system by means of credentials and digital signature.

2 – ACCEPTANCE: notification to the declared with the attribution of the MRN registration number.

3 – CDC OUTCOME: controls selected by the CDC for the declaration and for the individual articles.

4 – RELEASE: issue of the goods, simultaneously with the generation of 1) accounting statements, including the settlement of customs duties and the list of invoices; 2) summary statement of the declaration, containing a summary of the main data and the details of individual items; and 3) statement of release of goods, which can be consulted from “Document Management – Customs Declarations” on the Single Customs and Monopolies Portal (PUDM).

The following procedure has a substantial impact on all operators involved in the process. The importers change the way of reporting data, both in terms of document management and accounting records. The declarants and customs representatives have to face new technical problems related to the integration of information systems and new methods of interview with customs authorities (XML message exchange via web services).



  1. The possibility to send up to 999 articles in a single declaration
  2. The release of the goods may take place in a single instalment for the entire declaration
  3. The possibility of lodging an advance customs declaration up to 30 days before the goods are submitted to customs
  4. The debt related to customs duties is recorded upon release of the goods and not upon acceptance of the declaration


Alessandro Filippo Consonni