On 29 June 2011, the Commission adopted a proposal for the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework for the period 2014-2020: a budget for delivering the Europe 2020 Strategy proposing among others a new Customs programme.
The Customs 2020 programme will contribute to the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, by strengthening the functioning of the customs union.
The customs union protects the financial interests of the Union and its Member States collecting duties, fees and taxes.
It requires that goods originating from third countries comply with Union legislation before they can move around freely within the Union.
This implies the management of large trade volumes on a daily basis – handling 7 customs declarations every second – requiring customs to strike a balance between the facilitation of trade for business and the protection of citizens against risks to their safety and security.
This can only be achieved through intense operational cooperation between customs administrations of the Member States, between them and other authorities, with trade and other third parties.
The proposed programme will support the cooperation mainly between the customs authorities but also with other parties concerned.
It is the successor programme of the Customs 2013 programme which ends on 31 December 2013.
The proposed programme will support customs cooperation in the Union clustered around human networking and competency building, on the one hand, and IT capacity building on the other hand.
The first cluster allows for the exchange of good practices and operational knowledge amongst the Member States and incidentally other countries participating in the programme.
The latter enables the programme to fund appropriate IT infrastructure and systems that allow customs administrations in the Union to evolve to fully-fledged e-administrations.
The main added-value of the programme is generated by enhancing the capacity of Member States in raising revenue and managing increasingly complex trade flows, while cutting costs in developing the tools for these purposes.
Read more: EUR-Lex – 52012PC0464 – EN.
Richard Cornelisse is CEO of the KEY Group and worked previously as Big4 Partner in the Tax Performance Advisory and Indirect Tax Practice and blogs on Tax Function Effectiveness and Tax Control Framework developments.