Taxation and customs union

Essentials on Customs 2020

Customs 2013



Customs 2020 covers the period 2014-2020, following up from previous programmes starting in 1991.


Regulation establishing the programme

Regulation (EU) No 1294/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing an action programme for customs in the European Union for the period 2014-2020 (Customs 2020).



  1. General objective: to support the functioning and modernisation of the customs union in order to strengthen the internal market by means of cooperation between participating countries, their customs authorities and their officials. The general objective shall be pursued through the achievement of specific objectives.
  2. Specific objectives:
    • support customs authorities in protecting the financial and economic interests of the Union and of the Member States, including the fight against fraud and the protection of intellectual property rights
    • increase safety and security, protect citizens and the environment
    • improve the administrative capacity of the customs authorities and strengthen the competitiveness of European businesses.

    The specific objectives shall be achieved, in particular by:
    (a) computerisation;
    (b) ensuring modern and harmonised approaches to customs procedures and controls;
    (c) facilitating legitimate trade;
    (d) reducing compliance costs and administrative burden; and
    (e) enhancing the functioning of the customs authorities.

  3. Operational objectives:
    • support the preparation, coherent application and effective implementation of Union law and policy in the field of customs;
    • develop, improve, operate and support the European Information Systems for customs;
    •  identify, develop, share and apply best working practices and administrative procedures, in particular further to benchmarking activities;
    • reinforce the skills and competences of customs officials;
    • improve cooperation between customs authorities and international organisations, third countries, other governmental authorities, including Union and national market surveillance authorities, as well as economic operators and organisations representing economic operators.

The programme is objective-driven which means that all actions under the programme have to refer to the objectives and priorities outlined in the programme regulation and the resulting Annual Work Programme (strategic and forward looking plan, drafted and adopted by the Commission with input from the Participating Countries).




The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme. It is assisted by the Customs 2020 Committee, composed of delegates from each EU Member State.

Actions funded   

Reference documents