On December 13, 2012 the Official Gazette published Law N° 26,795 which included the “Mercosur Customs Code” approved by the Common Market Council on August 2, 2010 (Decision CMC No. 27/2010) into the Argentine legal system.
In general, the main objectives pursued by the Mercosur members consist of the cancellation of the dual collection of the Common External Fee (AEC), the allocation of customs revenue and the harmonization of the legislations of all the countries that are members of the Mercosur.
The Mercosur Customs Code was structured as “framework legislation” and therefore does not contain all the matters related to the custom system. In fact, there are several matters delegated to local legislations and also within the Mercosur structure. As a consequence, it is difficult to predict how operational this Mercosur Customs Code will be.
According to Section 2 of Law No. 26,795 the Mercosur Customs Code will enter into effect once all the Mercosur members internalize it, according to Section 40 of the Ouro Preto Protocol.
Although the sanction of a single Customs Code is a big step for the integration of the Mercosur members, it is necessary to bear in mind that there is still a long way ahead. Time will prove if the Mercosur members pursue all the actions needed for this Customs Code to be useful.