Taxation and Customs Union

EU Kompetenzrahmen für den Zoll

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The European Union Customs Competency Framework (EU Customs CFW) aims at harmonising and raising customs performance standards throughout the EU.

It has been developed in collaboration with public and private experts from EU countries, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and other international sources.

There are two versions of the EU Customs CFW

  • A version for Customs Administrations (available in 22 EU languages)
  • A version for businesses dealing with Customs (available in English)

Download the EU Customs Competency Framework

What is the EU Customs Competency Framework?

The EU Customs CFW is the foundation which sets out a consensus view of the optimal set of knowledge, skills and behaviours required by customs professionals in the EU.

It also further defines public and private Customs roles and offers tools to map and adapt the agreed EU Customs competencies and role descriptions to different customs organisations and structures, both for national administrations and businesses.

It allows to:

  • identify competency gaps and training needs
  • assess staff against established standards
  • improve both operational and human resources processes
  • allow for data driven decisions
  • expand on sharing best practices and the creation of a thriving EU Customs community
  • create significant cost efficiencies

Competency Framework

What are the framework’s components?

The framework consists of a variety of capacity-building tools designed specifically for the Customs profession. It lists and describes four groups of competency areas:

  • the core values
  • professional competencies
  • operational competencies
  • management competencies

Competency Framework

The meaning and scope of the four categories and each competency are set out in the EU Customs Competency Dictionary for the Public and Private sectors.

All competencies are further specified with well-defined proficiency levels:

  • Aware
  • Trained
  • Advanced
  • Expert

Competency Framework

Common EU Customs Role Descriptions (each followed by a unique to the role Competency Profile) describe in detail the responsibilities, behaviours and optimal blend of competencies Customs professionals are expected to learn to be considered successful in their roles.

Complementing the EU Customs CFW toolbox is the European Training Curricula for Customs. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the suggested learning topics and outcomes (linked to the designated competency areas) to be achieved by Customs specific training initiatives. As such, it supports improved and more consistent Customs operations and organisational performance across Europe.

Competency Framework

Training for Customs professionals

Building on this framework, two EU Customs Training Curricula, one for the Public sector (Professional, Operational, Management competencies) and one for the Private sector (Professional, Operational, Management competencies) have been developed.

These curricula set out the ‘Learning Topics’ and ‘Learning Outcomes’ for training programmes that are tailored towards customs professionals working in the European Union. As such, they support improved and more consistent Customs operations and organisational performance across Europe.

Reference Training programmes

In addition, a set of Reference Training Programmes for Academic Customs Education  has been created for training providers as a basis for comparison to build or enhance their training programme structures and training materials.

Competency Framework

Recognition process and Quality label for Customs Academic Study Programmes

An EU Recognition Process for Customs academic study programmes is being developed which will make it possible to deliver a quality label for accredited Academic Customs programmes (Masters, Bachelors, and modules within those programmes).

This will give a quality assurance to both the academic institutions providing the recognised programmes and the students of the equivalent programmes, this way further harmonising and raising Customs performance standards throughout the European Customs Union.

Learn more on the EU Recognition Process for Customs academic study programmes.

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