Taxation and Customs Union
In 2010, EU Customs seized more than 103 million products suspected of violating intellectual property rights (IPR) at the EU's external borders. According to the Commission's annual report on EU Customs enforcement of IPR published today, the number of shipments stopped by customs almost doubled compared to last year, rising from 43,500 in 2009 to almost 80,000 in 2010.
Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud and Audit said: “We have experienced a spectacular increase of detentions in the postal traffic since last year: the number of cases tripled from 15,000 to over 48,000 and many of the seized goods included medicines and body care products. This upward trend reflects a growing number of online purchases." He added: "I proposed new rules in May to step up the fight against fakes. European consumers – as well as right holders - expect goods to be thoroughly checked and safe. We will continue to step up our efforts within the EU and with our international partners to ensure the maximum level of protection for IPR for both legitimate businesses and consumers".
The public consultation of the European Commission on the future of the Value Added Tax (VAT) system has terminated. Stakeholders have submitted around 1,700 contributions, totalling more than 8000 pages. They have raised a wide range of topics: from the need for a complete overhaul of the EU VAT system to more specific questions such as the relevance of reduced VAT rates or deductions. Contributions came from EU Member states and beyond - Switzerland, Japan, the USA.
Internal Audit Service (IAS) of the European Commission is celebrating 10 years anniversary today.
In the conference, dedicated to the 10 years of activities of this service, Commissioner for Audit Algirdas Šemeta said: "from the standing start in 2001 we now have an independent, internationally respected, multi-national service conforming to the highest standards. This is a particularly impressive achievement in the light of the substantial changes of the last decade – in particular the Treaty changes extending the geographical and policy scope of the European Union."