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Brussels, 19 April 2007

Modernising customs procedures: European Commission welcomes adoption of Customs 2013 Programme by Council

The European Commission welcomes the adoption by the Council of the Customs 2013 programme (see IP/06/639) for the period 2008 - end 2013. The new programme aims at helping Member States to better combat customs fraud and to cut compliance costs for traders. It will support new security policy initiatives, the implementation of modernisation of the customs code, and the introduction of a pan-European paperless customs environment (see IP/05/1501). It will also contribute to the development and management of the trans European IT customs systems such as the Integrated Community Tariff (TARIC).

László Kovács, Commissioner for Taxation and Customs said: “I am very happy of the quick and timely adoption of the Customs 2013 Programme. It will contribute to enhancing cooperation between customs administrations. The programme aims at contributing to the simplification and speeding up of procedures, facilitating legitimate trade, and supporting the fight against customs fraud. Moreover, it will increase security and safety of EU citizens."

Background information

The Customs 2013 programme is crucial to the functioning of the Customs Union. Main objectives of the programme are:

  • Reinforcing security and safety within the Community and at the external border;
  • Strengthening the fight against fraud and protecting the financial interests of the Community and Member States;
  • Increasing the competitiveness of European business by speeding up customs procedures through the creation of a European paperless electronic customs environment

At an operational level, the new programme will 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

The new programme's value ranges far beyond the direct stakeholders which are the Customs administrations of the Member States: European citizens, in particular, will benefit from better security and safety at the Community's external border as well as from a state-of-the-art technological environment. Economic operators and their organisations may take part in the activities organised under the programme whenever this is useful to achieve the Programme objectives.

Further information on the Customs 2013 programme is available on 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).

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