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The National Customs and Excise Management Office

Public organizations have the power, almost the obligation, to self-organize to provide the public service entrusted to them, in the most efficient way possible.

In the field of customs, special and environmental tax management, this effort to adapt the administrative structure to the current needs has led to the creation of the National Customs and Excise Management Office in January last year.

But what were those needs and why has a national management body been created?

It is always important to analyze the reason behind the different decisions that are made, without losing sight of the objective, which in this case is none other than to provide better and greater service to foreign trade taxpayers, the excises and the already famous green taxes.

From this perspective, it can be noted that the reasons for constitution and, therefore, the functions entrusted to this office are the following:

  • Firstly, it was important to ensure the uniform and efficient application of legislation on authorizations of notable relevance and national validity. For this reason, the Office manages some authorizations provided for in the excise tax regulations, as well as others related to environmental taxes and important simplifications in customs matters. The following serve as an example of this variety of authorizations: the authorized economic operator, the authorization of registration in the declarant's records, the approval of specific partial denaturants in alcohol or the centralization of payments in the tax on fluorinated greenhouse gases. Likewise, the search for economies of scale advised the centralization of the management of foreign trade authorizations of multinational validity. This Office maintains fluid communication with the customs authorities of the other member countries of the European Union, an essential requirement for the granting of multi-state customs authorizations.

  • Secondly, society demands that public administrations make efforts in the field of dissemination and information, which allows citizens to form their own opinion of the obligations incumbent on them and the rights attributed to them. This informative function must be provided, of course, in the new channels that society uses. In this sense, it is no surprise to point out the notable relevance that digital channels have. The National Office coordinates the information and assistance provided through non-face-to-face media (chat with foreign trade questions, telephone appointments for the new plastic packaging tax, etc.).

  • Finally, the National Office also has the ambitious function and great responsibility of coordinating customs clearance to guarantee adequate service provision to foreign trade companies, under a unity of criteria between the different customs offices at the territorial level.

In recent years, the use of information technologies has introduced substantial changes in this process, allowing for the relocation and specialization of services.

Furthermore, international merchandise traffic has undergone a relevant transformation marked by the evolution in the type of merchandise, logistical changes that have affected supply chains and, in the case of the European Union, increasing regulation in relation to the requirements that goods entering the Union market must meet, with the aim of protecting consumers and users. These factors make it necessary for customs to adapt to new regulations and have increasingly specialized knowledge.

Both reasons invite the customs authority to take full advantage of the opportunities offered to increase the efficiency of customs clearance at the national level, contributing to specialization and always in a coordinated manner throughout the entire national territory.