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Brussels, 17 May 2006

Modernising customs and fiscal procedures: The European Commission proposes to renew EU programmes to finance the customs reform and stimulate the smooth management of IT tax systems

The European Commission has presented two proposals to renew the existing Fiscalis 2007 and Customs 2007 programmes (see IP/02/144) as from 2008 till end 2013. The new programmes aim at providing Member States with means to better combat tax and customs fraud and to cut compliance costs for traders and taxable persons. Customs 2013 would support new security policy initiatives, the modernisation of the customs code and the introduction of a pan-European paperless customs environment (see IP/05/1501). Fiscalis 2013 would continue to stimulate cooperation between tax authorities and assist them in developing an appropriate balance between efficiency of controls and burdens on taxable persons. Both programmes will contribute to the development and management of the trans European IT tax and customs systems

László Kovács, Commissioner for Taxation and Customs said: “The increasing globalisation of trade, the development of new markets, and the changes in the methods and speed of the movement of goods, requires EU tax and customs administrations to be modernised and strengthened. The Fiscalis 2013 and Customs 2013 programmes will actively contribute to enhance cooperation between tax and customs administrations. They will simplify and speed up procedures, facilitate legitimate trade, and support the fight against tax and customs fraud. Moreover, the Customs 2013 will increase security and safety of EU citizens. I urge the EU Ministers and the European Parliament to adopt a decision implementing the two proposed programmes in a timely manner."

Why renew the existing EU programmes?

Customs 2013

Recent evaluation reports have shown that the customs programme is crucial to make the Customs Union work. Main objectives of the Customs 2013 programme are:

  • Reinforcing security and safety within the Community and at the external border;
  • Protecting the financial interest of the Community and Member States by strengthening the fight against fraud;
  • Increasing the competitiveness of European Business by speeding up customs procedures through the creation of a pan-European paperless electronic customs environment

At an operational level, the new programme would in particular:

  • Support the development of a pan-European electronic customs;
  • Pursue international customs cooperation in the field of supply chain security;
  • Support the further development of simplified procedures for compliant traders (Authorised Economic Operator[1]);
  • Ensure a performing exchange of information between national administrations as well as with traders through enhancing the trans-European customs IT systems (e.g. TARIC[2], NCTS[3], ...);
  • Support the development of training tools available to all customs administrations

Fiscalis 2013

Recent evaluation reports have shown that the Fiscalis programme is crucial to build up better cooperation and confidence between national tax administrations and officials. Main objectives of the Fiscalis 2013 programme are:

  • Enhancing the fight against tax fraud, in particular against "VAT carrousel fraud";
  • Reducing the administrative burden on administrations and taxable persons;
  • Ensuring a performing exchange of information between national tax administrations as well as with traders through e.g. trans-European tax IT systems.

At an operational level, the new programme would in particular:

  • Boost the effectiveness of the tax administrations via the automation of audit tools;
  • Enhance the existing trans-European tax IT systems (in particular VIES[4]);
  • Support the implementation of the Excise Movement Control System (e.g. allowing reduced time for discharge of excise movements of goods to traders);
  • Support the development of training tools available to all tax administrations.

Major stakeholders of the programmes

National administrations of the Member States will continue to be the major stakeholders of the new programmes. Participation will be also opened to economic operators in the activities that concern them.

Further information on current customs and taxation community programmes is available on the following websites:

Fiscalis 2007:

Customs 2007:

Information on the two proposals is available from the following website:

[1] Authorised economic operators are compliant and trusted traders who would benefit from facilitations in terms of security controls and simplifications for customs procedures.
[2] Integrated Community Tariff: IT system available to the public. Provides information on rates of duty and relevant Community rules for each type of goods.
[3] NCTS: New Computerised Transit System (Computerised system for the electronic exchange of transit data between national administrations in parallel with the movement of goods).
[4] VIES : IT system enabling to receive on internet confirmation of the validity of the VAT identification number of a taxable person and enabling Member States to obtain VAT information on intra-Community transactions.

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