To increase the practical level of co-operation and co-ordination between customs administrations at the external frontier of the EU, a number of contact groups have been established.
These groups are made up of the managers of major ports, airports and landfrontiers in the Community. The objective of the contact groups is to ensure an equivalent level of control and trade facilitation for legitimate trade at the external frontier of the Community. This is done through such initiatives as the rapid exchange of risk information between the offices concerned, the exchange of personnel, the sharing of best practices and close co-operation at a practical level.
In order to increase practical co-operation and co-ordination amongst customs offices, a contact group of customs managers working in the biggest ports of the EU has been established. This contact group is comprised of representatives from the ports of Rotterdam (Netherlands) , Antwerp (Belgium) , Le Havre (France) , Felixstowe (United Kingdom), Hamburg (Germany), Sczcecin (Poland), Leixoes (Portugal) and Bilbao (Spain) .
Further information on the work of the group can be obtained from the following newsletters:
Contact group of customs managers in the major EU southern ports of Barcelona (Spain) , Marseilles (France), Trieste (Italy) , Piraeus (Greece), Koper (Slovenia), Marsaxlokk (Malta) and Limassol (Cyprus).
Contact group of the major EU airports of Schiphol (Netherlands) , Frankfurt am Main (Germany) , Charles de Gaulle / Roissy (France) , Heathrow (United Kingdom), Brussels (Belgium) , Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino (Italy), Ruzyne Prague (Czech Republic), Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Madrid (Spain) and Sofia (Bulgaria).
The Contact group was created in July 2005 and has already met twice. The following 12 countries are represented: Austria, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.