Is digital documentation secure?

There is something to be said in defence of human-readable documentation. It’s not perfect, but you don’t need to open the file on a machine to get sight of it.

This summer, the European Union published its plans for an integrated digitised customs system to cover the entire single market. A single EU Data Hub will be phased in around 2028, providing a single unified portal for third country exporters to document shipments to the EU. Compliance, repeat orders, along with such customs documentation as will be retained by the new system, will all be locked up in this portal. The official line is that customs compliance will be enforced uniformly and centrally, giving customs officers “…a 360-degree overview of individual supply chains…” and freeing up resources to ensure that a centralised European Union customs agency will run like clockwork.

There are plans to abolish the 150-dollar duty-free allowance, a routinely exploited weak point in e-commerce. Consumers will no longer face unexpected charges on e-commerce transactions. This happy state of affairs will come about thanks to e-commerce platforms taking on the administration of tax and customs procedures. Sounds too good to be true.

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