Customs 2013 is a programme which gives the national customs administrations of the EU, together with the European Commission, the opportunity to co-operate in areas of common and high interest. It runs from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2013 and provides a legal and financial base for
- Reinforcing security and safety within the Community and at the external border;
- Strengthening the fight against fraud and protecting the financial and economic interests of the Community and Member States;
- Increasing the competitiveness of European business by speeding up customs procedures partially through the creation of a European paperless electronic customs environment.
The EU has to be a strong economic and trade partner in the world economy. Customs have an important role to play to ensure the competitiveness of the European trade environment. The increased trade volume crossing the borders, the complexity of the modern supply chain, the number of parties involved and the speed with which goods are exchanged today make the work of Customs administrations more complex. Trade facilitation aims at minimising the burden placed on trade in relation to customs legislation and procedures. The application of a new Modernised customs code and the implementation of a paperless customs environment should contribute to this broad objective of trade facilitation. In doing so, there should be a balance between trade facilitation and the protection of the EU against illicit traffic.
Strengthening security and safety
The operating environment and the role of Customs are continuously evolving. Customs continues to play a key role in the collection of customs duties and the application of tariffs. However, the current Customs work is increasingly linked to the security of the Community and in particular with securing the external border, the prevention of money laundering and trade in counterfeit goods.
Customs has a role in protecting the EU from entry of goods that might endanger the safety or health of the European citizen. Customs have to deal with an ever larger number of control issues, involving environmental, health protection and security issues. It concerns for instance the trade in drug precursors, checking of radiation levels, and importation of prohibited foodstuffs. Customs is developing a rapid information system to advise all Customs offices of potential high risk cargo.
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