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Taxation and Customs Union

Customs Control Equipment Instrument

What is Customs Control Equipment Instrument?

The creation of the new Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF) in the context of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027  responds to the increasing and pressing priority to ensure a solid border management and internal security.

The IBMF comprises on the one hand, the Border Management and Visa Instrument for checking people and on the other hand, the Customs Control Equipment Instrument for checking goods. Each financing instrument has thus a dedicated scope.

The Customs Control Equipment Instrument allows Member States to purchase, maintain and upgrade state-of-the-art customs equipment such as new scanners, automated number plate detection systems, teams of sniffer dogs and mobile laboratories for sample analysis.

The Customs Control Equipment Instrument has a budget of €1 006 million for the period 2021-2027.

Why a Customs Control Equipment Instrument?

The Customs Union is unique in the world. It is a foundation of the European Union and essential for the proper functioning of the Single Market. Once cleared by customs in one Member State, goods can move freely within the Union on the basis that all Member States apply the same revenue and protection rules at external borders. The EU customs administrations need to work closely to facilitate trade and protect the health and safety of all EU citizens. The EU is one of the largest trading blocks in the world: in 2019, the EU accounted for almost 15% of world trade in goods, worth EUR 4.09 trillion.

Managing this volume of international trade requires handling millions of customs declarations per year in a fast and efficient manner for ensuring that customs duties are properly collected. Customs are also there to protect. They play an important role in contributing to a safer and secure EU by checking for the illegal trafficking of firearms and illegal trade in works of art and cultural goods. They protect consumers against goods presenting a risk to health and safety. For example, 516.7 tonnes of drugs, 4015 illicit firearms and 3.52 billion cigarettes were seized in the EU in 2020. Appropriate controls require fast, high-quality and updated information and sound coordination among the customs administrations of our Member States.

Objectives of the programme

The instrument aims to fund equipment that is not intrusive and allows for efficient and effective customs controls. Possible equipment that Member States can purchase, maintain or upgrade include scanners, automated number plate detection systems, teams of sniffer dogs and mobile laboratories for sample analysis. Equipment needs identification and policy relevant policy discussions are financially supported through the Customs programme, which runs alongside the Customs Equipment Instrument. The customs control equipment made available under this fund can also be used for other compliance controls such as visa and police provisions where applicable, maximising their impact.

Equipment is eligible for purchase only if it relates to at least one of the six following purposes: non-intrusive inspection; indication of hidden objects on humans; radiation detection and nuclide identification; analysis of samples in laboratories; sampling and field analysis of samples; and handheld search. This list can be reviewed as needed. The instrument will also support the purchase or upgrade of customs control equipment for testing new pieces or new conditions on the ground before Member States start large-scale purchases of new equipment.

ANNEX on the financing of the Instrument for financial support for customs control equipment, as part of the Integrated Border Management Fund, and the adoption of the multiannual work programme for 2021 and 2022
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