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  Co-operation between Market Surveillance and Customs authorities to increase protection of European citizens from imported unsafe productsslide

Market Surveillance authorities and Customs authorities from 32 countries (the EU-27, Croatia, Turkey, Norway, Switzerland and the United States) have agreed to strengthen co-operation to protect the public from imported unsafe products, during a seminar on 8-10 April 2008 in Saalfelden/Austria financed by the European Commission and hosted by the Austrian Ministry of Finance.

The results in the area of customs seizures of counterfeit goods (128 million articles seized in 2006) demonstrate that customs have considerable experience in stopping illicit products before they enter retail trade.

A number of very concrete actions have been agreed to better target customs controls via increased co-operation between Customs and Market Surveillance authorities, particularly in the area of risk management. It was agreed inter alia:

  • to enhance a cooperative network between Customs and Market Surveillance authorities at an international level;
  • to improve targeting of controls of unsafe products by greater exchange of risk information; and
  • to share experience, knowledge and best practices on co-operation and controls by providing guidelines.

Pilot actions with regard to certain high risk goods and/or sectors will be carried out to test and improve the effectiveness of cooperation.

The seminar provided, for the first time on such a large scale, an opportunity for Customs and Market Surveillance experts from all Member States, Candidate countries (Croatia and Turkey), Norway, Switzerland and the United States of America to exchange views and best practices on their cooperation in the field of product safety.

The seminar is an action taken under the Customs 2013 programme.

For more information, please consult the conclusions of the seminar.

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