Zelos – the new ATLAS application for customs documents

Digital documents and statements

Changes to ATLAS Release 9.0 [03 June 2020]

IT processes ATLAS and AES

[Update 03 June 2020]

Customs informs about new changes in the ATLAS and AES procedure. By 12 July 2020, all changes to ATLAS Release 9.0 must have been made, including the supporting news groups and software products. In addition, there is no official commitment for the ZELOS application including testing. As a result, certification is not planned for AES Release 2.4 and will only be considered in the next release.

[Update 11 December 2019]

Especially in times when climate protection and CO² debates are flooding the front pages of newspapers and magazines, customs and their IT service providers are also revising and modernizing their IT systems.

“With the ‘Digital Administration 2020’ program, the German government is creating the framework conditions for the administration of the future. This will utilize the potential of digitization and be effective, transparent, efficient, barrier-free, citizen and business-friendly”.1

Zelos will be the new IT application of the German customs for the electronic transmission and exchange of documents, inquiries and statements. These documents are requested, transmitted and exchanged with Zelos in the application and are linked to the transactions by a clear assignment. In the AES export, declarants currently have to submit documents to the authorities by post, e-mail or in person if they are missing. When a subsequent delivery is required is currently indicated and requested by a rejection of an application. In the Zelos IT application, this indication is built into the overview, whereupon documents can be sent in the application in various formats (.PNG, .JPG).

According to the latest reports of the World Bank on the LGI – Logistic Performance Index – for the first time since 2018, Germany is ranked first in the efficiency of customs clearance processes. In order to maintain this podium position, these processes are being continuously developed and improved. With the Zelos application the required documents and records are sent to the responsible persons in charge and processed without detours. This results in an improved processing efficiency on the part of customs and thus ensures that we continue to hold first place. Contrary to current economic forecasts, we want to be prepared for an ever-increasing number of processing operations.

For some years now, Germany has had an unchanged approximate consumption of approximately 240 kg of paper per capita. The public administration alone has a consumption of approx. 80,000 tons, whereby one ton of paper requires the same amount of energy in its production as is needed to produce one ton of steel. An immense amount of energy is therefore required for documents, which could also be transmitted and archived digitally. According to projections, Zelos could save about 5 million paper printouts per year.


According to the latest information, the use of “Zelos” will not become mandatory until 2022.

[1] https://www.zoll.de/DE/Fachthemen/Zoelle/ATLAS/ATLAS-ZELOS/ZELOS/zelos_node.html

Other sources:


[Article created on 11 April 2019]

Design processes without media breaks

With its “Digital Administration 2020” program, the German government is creating the framework conditions for effectively utilizing the potential of digitization. This will create transparency, efficiency, accessibility and friendliness toward citizens and companies in the administration in the future.

The goal is the exchange of documents, inquiries and statements in the ATLAS procedure between the customs administration and the company participating in the ATLAS procedure without media discontinuity.

All information about ATLAS-Zelos can be found on the customs website.

Zelos – when available?

In mid-March 2019, Customs informed that the new data group, which includes Zelos messages, will be available as of AES Release 2.4.4 (live operation starts in September 2019). We then asked for the exact schedule and technical specifications.

According to the information provided by the customs authorities, it is not possible to say exactly when certification of these new news groups will be possible. It is planned to make Zelos available after the start of live operation. It is therefore quite possible that certification will not be available until 2020. The implementation of the Zelos news at the customers who want to use Zelos could then take place in the course of 2020. Only with the change to AES Release 3.0 would the current plans provide for mandatory support of these messages.

Zelos will be available from September 2019, but can only be used after certification, which is possible in 2020. It will probably not become mandatory until early 2021 with AES 3.0.

As your customs software provider, we will make the most of this time to prepare for Zelos and ensure a smooth transition for you.


Geschrieben von <a href="https://www.bex.ag/en/blog/author/nese/" target="_self">Nese Öztunc</a>

Geschrieben von Nese Öztunc

Seit Juli 2016 bin auch ich ein Teil der BEX und zuständig für alles, was mit Marketing Kommunikation und Content zu tun hat. Unseren BEXblog gestalten wir gemeinsam mit den Kollegen aus den Fachbereichen. Sie haben Fragen, Wünsche, Anregungen oder wollen uns einfach nur mal loben? Über unser Kontaktformular können Sie uns jederzeit kontaktieren, wir melden uns zeitnah. Weiterhin viel Spaß beim Lesen.

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