Customs 2013 High-Level Forum on customs cooperation at the EU's eastern border - Vienna, 9-10 October 2008
The European Commission, together with the Austrian Customs administration organised a High Level Forum on Customs Cooperation at the Eastern Border of the EU on 9 and 10 October 2008 in Vienna. The Forum was a follow-up to a number of events such as the Muonio Conference in 2006 and the working group meetings in Gdansk in June 2008. Participants identified common problems and endorsed the recommendations made by the working groups in Gdansk.
The Forum brought together the Directors-General of customs and other high level delegates from the EU Member States, candidate countries, Eastern neighbours (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine), and the European Commission. It took the form of a plenary session with presentations and discussions. See the agenda .
Commissioner László Kovács sent a letter to the Forum's participants underlining the importance of enhanced customs co-operation in the region in view of current challenges as regards trade globalisation and supply chain security.
The results and main conclusions have been summarised in the Final Document (soon available here) and High Level Declaration adopted by the participants.
The Directors General decided that the next High Level Forum on Customs Cooperation at the Eastern Border of the EU will be convened in 2010 to evaluate the outcome of actions, to provide guidance to national authorities and the two working groups, and to decide on further actions and strategies.
Customs 2013 Seminar on Single Authorisation for simplified procedures/Centralised Clearance - Budapest, 1-3 October 2008
The European Commission, together with the Hungarian customs administration, hosted a conference on Single Authorisation for simplified procedures/Centralised Clearance as a follow up to the Helsinki Seminar on centralised clearance and to the Vienna Seminar on Single European Authorisation. This was an opportunity to involve the Commission, customs administrations and business in discussions of important topics for achieving greater trade facilitation in a single market.
The main objectives of the Seminar were the following:
- To present and discuss the implementation of the Commission Regulation (EC) N° 1192/08 amending Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) N° 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code, namely with regard to the following issues:
- a harmonised implementation of the Regulation;
- a common understanding of the SASP guidelines;
- a common understanding on the Administrative Arrangement concerning the allocation, under Single Authorisation for release for free circulation, of the national collection costs that are retained when the Traditional Own Resources are made available to the EU budget.
- To present the Report of the Project Group on Single Authorisation for simplified procedures and discuss its recommendations on VAT/excise, statistics, prohibitions and restrictions and future work.
- To involve the Commission, Member States and Trade in the discussion on the payment of VAT and excise duties, the report of statistics and the application of prohibitions and restrictions in case of Single Authorisations.
- To give an outlook on centralised clearance under the modernised Customs Code.
- Commission Regulation (EC) No 1192/08 amending Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code (Single Authorisation for simplified procedures - SASP);
- TAXUD/1284/2005, Rev. 3, 22 September 2008 - Single Authorisation for Simplified Procedures Guidelines;
- TAXUD/1284/2005, Rev. 4, 11 November 2008 - Single Authorisation for Simplified Procedures Guidelines;
- Administrative Arrangement concerning the allocation, under a Single Authorisation for release for free circulation, of the national collection costs that are retained when the Traditional Own Resources are made available to the EU budget;
- Report of the Project Group on Single Authorisation for Simplified Procedures.
- TAXUD/2040/2008, 22 September 2008 - Working Group Sessions.
The main conclusions achieved from the debates will be reported to the Plenary and are summarized:
Customs 2013 Seminar on Preventing imports of dangerous products, Saalfelden, Austria, 8-10 April 2008
During a seminar in Saalfelden, Austria Customs and market surveillance authorities from 32 countries (EU; Croatia; Turkey; Norway; Switzerland and the US) agreed to strengthen co-operation to protect the public from imported unsafe products. The seminar was financed by the European Commission under the Customs 2013 programme and hosted by the Austrian Ministry of Finance.
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.
The seminar provided, for the first time on such a large scale, the 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 co-operation in the field of product safety.