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Action programme: Customs 2007 (2003-2007)

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The European Union (EU) has established a series of action programmes to improve customs coordination. The first programme, Customs 2000 (1996-2000), has been succeeded by the Customs 2002 (2001-2002) and Customs 2007 programmes (2003-2007). The aim is to bring joint operations under a single legal act with a view to promoting ever closer cooperation between national customs administrations and setting up trans-European information exchange systems

ACT

Decision No 253/2003/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2003 adopting an action programme for customs in the Community (Customs 2007) [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

The Customs 2007 programme (2003-2007) is intended to support and complement operations undertaken by the Member States to safeguard the functioning of the internal market in the customs field. It is designed to facilitate trade and combat fraud. The financial and security concerns of the Community and of its citizens are thereby conserved. Morever, customs has an important role to play to ensure the competitiveness of the European trade environment.

The cost of the programme amounts to EUR 133 million for the period 2003-2007. The budget will be revised on enlargement of the European Union to cover the needs of the new Member States.

Objective

The main objective of the programme is to ensure that the Customs administrations of the Member States coordinate their action so that operations in the customs field meet the needs of the EU’s internal market.

Priorities

The priorities for Customs 2007 are centred round:

  • reducing costs linked to compliance with customs legislation borne by economic operators;
  • implementing a system to measure performance and best working practices (including cooperation between laboratories carrying out analyses for customs);
  • improving the standardisation and simplification of procedures;
  • creating an electronic customs environment with paperless customs procedures;
  • developing common training measures.

Action

Customs 2007 takes account of the customs union strategy. It constitutes the legal and financial basis for measures concerning:

  • electronic systems enabling national administrations to exchange information;
  • joint initiatives such as project groups, benchmarking exercises, seminars and training courses for customs officials and experts;
  • exchanges of officials between national administrations;
  • the creation of an electronic system enabling businesses to move on to a paperless customs environment;
  • assistance to candidate countries with preparing their systems for managing free trade and carrying out customs checks at the new external borders.

BACKGROUND

The Customs 2007 programme is an extension of the two preceding action programmes in the customs field: Customs 2000 (1996-2000) and Customs 2002 (2001-2002). A financial framework of EUR 135 million was set for the period 1996-2002, and EUR 12.5 million for external operations.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Decision 253/2003/EC

4.3.2003-OJ L 36 of 12.2.2003
Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Decision 787/2004/EC

20.5.2004-OJ L 138 of 30.4.2004

RELATED ACTS

Decision No 624/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 establishing an action programme for customs in the Community (Customs 2013) [Official Journal L 154 of 14.6.2007].
The Customs 2007 programme is replaced by the Customs 2013 programme.

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 7 October 2008 – Final evaluation of the Customs 2007 programme in accordance with Article 19 of Decision 253/2003/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 6 February 2003 adopting an action programme for customs in the Community (Customs 2007) [COM(2008) 612 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission gives a positive report of the results of the Customs 2007 programme, after five years of implementation. The programme has enhanced collaboration and exchange between customs authorities. It has allowed the effectiveness of customs to be increased by developing new IT systems. Only 60% of the five-year budget initially earmarked was actually spent.

Specifically, the programme contributed to the creation of a safer environment and the protection of Community’s financial interests. Its actions led to a more uniform implementation of common customs legislation and the harmonisation of customs authorities’ working methods. It allowed the burdens on economic operators to be reduced, despite the large number of national initiatives aimed at enhancing safety and security in trade. The use of IT systems has allowed transit and tariff-related procedures to be accelerated in particular, whilst increasing legal certainty in transactions.

The programme was open to the 27 Member States of the European Union and accession candidate countries. It thus participated in the processes of integration and enlargement, while reinforcing capacities and improving procedures in these countries.

The Commission makes recommendations for the new Customs 2013 programming. Monitoring the actions carried out should, as a priority facilitate trade, risk management, the training of customs authorities and the use of ICTs.

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the Customs 2002 programme (1998-2002) [COM(2003) 672 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
This report on the implementation of Customs 2002 shows that the programme contributed to a strengthening of customs cooperation. Customs 2002 also prepared the way for the integration of accession countries’ administrations into Community customs management.

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the Customs 2000 programme [COM(98) 471 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
This interim report was aimed at improving the effectiveness of customs procedures and controls at every point in the customs territory of the Community. It was intended to ensure transparency in the application of Community law and identify the difficulties in implementing it and the priority areas for cooperation.

Last updated: 06.02.2009
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