EU and national authorities prevented losses of over €80 million in customs duties, during a major joint customs operation (JCO) coordinated by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
Member States must step up their work to prevent, detect and report fraud affecting EU funds, according to the Commission's annual report on the protection of financial interests (PIF report).
The six month countdown has begun to a major change in the EU VAT system, which will ease life for many businesses and ensure fairer revenue distribution between Member States.
Following theECOFIN meeting today, Algirdas Šemeta, EU Commissioner for taxation, customs, anti-fraud, audit and statistics, has released a statement in which he welcomes Council agreement on measures to fight tax avoidance
"Our recent recommendations to Member States stressed the need to lower labour taxes in order to create jobs in Europe.
Commission investigates transfer pricing arrangements on corporate taxation of Apple (Ireland) Starbucks (Netherlands) and Fiat Finance and Trade (Luxembourg)
The European Commission has opened three in-depth investigations to examine whether decisions by tax authorities in Ireland, The Netherlands and Luxembourg with regard to the corporate income tax to be paid by Apple, Starbucks and Fiat Finance and Trade, respectively, comply with the EU rules on state aid. The opening of an in-depth investigation gives interested third parties, as well as the three Member States concerned, an opportunity to submit comments. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.
Today the Commission has proposed measures to further safeguard procedural guarantees in OLAF investigations, in order to complete the already comprehensive reform of the EU's anti-fraud office.
Customs: EU and China sign landmark mutual recognition agreement and intensify their customs cooperation
EU and Chinese trusted traders will enjoy lower costs, simplified procedures and greater predictability in their activities, thanks to a mutual recognition agreement signed today. Under the agreement, the EU and China commit to recognising each other's certified safe traders, thereby allowing these companies to benefit from faster controls and reduced administration for customs clearance. Mutual recognition of trusted traders also allows customs to focus their resources on real risk areas, thereby improving supply chain security on both sides. The EU is the first trading partner to enter into such an agreement with China, having already signed similar deals with the USA (2012) and Japan (2011). EU Commissioner for Taxation and Customs, Algirdas Šemeta, was at the Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC) meeting in Beijing, for the signing of the agreement.
Commissioner Šemeta visits China, Hong Kong and Macau to discuss customs cooperation, trade facilitation, and tackling tax evasion
Algirdas Šemeta, EU Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud, Statistics and Audit, will be in Asia from 14-17 May.
Extracts from the press conference: