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European Anti-Fraud Office

Policies to prevent and deter fraud

In addition to its independent investigative work, OLAF also plays an active role in the development of EU anti-fraud policies as a European Commission service. The Office is regularly at the forefront of drafting and negotiating legislation concerning the protection of the EU’s financial interests against fraud and corruption.

It is thanks to its solid investigative expertise, that OLAF can support the EU institutions in furthering a sound legal framework that offers ever-improved protection to the EU budget and to taxpayers’ money.

OLAF's main activities in the field of shaping anti-fraud policy are the following:

  • develops comprehensive anti-fraud policies and legislation
  • carries out analysis to identify threats and vulnerabilities
  • recommends anti-fraud measures to Commission departments, EU institutions and Bodies, Offices and Agencies
  • gathers information from its own operational experience and other sources and shares these through databases and applications
  • strengthens cooperation with EU and non-EU countries
  • raises awareness via seminars, conferences, trainings.

Annual report on the protection of the EU’s financial interests

The report presents the measures taken to protect the EU budget, and to counter fraud and any other illegal activities affecting the financial interests of the EU.

Customs cooperation with non-EU countries

Third countries for which EC Provisions on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters have entered into force.

Customs fraud

OLAF plays an important role on behalf of the EU, combating customs fraud – firms evading customs duties, including anti-dumping duties.

Customs mutual assistance – Regulation 515/97

Regulation 515/97 sets out how national authorities must cooperate with each other and with the Commission to implement EU customs and agricultural legislation.

European Commission Anti-Fraud Strategy

OLAF is the lead service for the Commission Anti-Fraud Strategy and, more generally, for the conception and development of an EU anti-fraud policy.

European Public Prosecutor's Office

This new Europe-wide body tackles large-scale, cross-border crime against the EU budget.

Illegal tobacco

OLAF’s mandate is to crack down on the illicit trade in tobacco on behalf of the EU.

Joint customs operations

These operations are coordinated and targeted actions of a limited duration with the aim of combating the smuggling of sensitive goods and fraud in certain risky areas and/or on identified trade routes.

OLAF Regulation

The evaluation and amendment of Regulation No 883/2013 is an important policy project intended to ensure that the legal framework for OLAF investigations is fit for purpose.

Sharing data and expertise

Drawing on its accumulated knowledge and experience, OLAF helps the authorities responsible for managing EU funds to understand fraud types, trends, threats and risks, and to protect the EU's financial interests by preventing fraud of all kinds.