Taxation and Customs Union

Conferences and other events - Archives 2005

Conference on customs and cross border cooperation within the framework of New Neighbourhood Relations, Kyiv 5th and 6th October 2005

Customs 2007 Seminar on Centralised Clearance , in Helsinki 20th and 21st June 2005

Customs Seminar on Single Administrative Document , in Vilnius 13-15th April 2005

High-level seminar on the Implementation of the Multi-annual Strategic Plan for eCustoms in Poland , 6 - 8th April 2005

Budapest seminar on the Modernized Customs Code in Hungary, March 9-11 th 2005

Conference on customs and cross border cooperation within the framework of New Neighbourhood Relations, Kyiv 5th and 6th October 2005

On 5th and 6th October 2005, the European Commission and Ukraine organised in Kyiv the first Conference on customs and cross border cooperation within the framework of New Neighbourhood Relations. This conference paved the way for an enhanced cooperation between all customs administrations in the region.

The Conference brought together the Directors General of customs of the Member States of the European Union, or their representatives as well as of Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. It was organised by the European Commission, which provided for its financing and by the Ukrainian State Customs Service. Taking into account the economic role of customs administrations, representatives from business associations were also invited.

Faced with current challenges, collaboration between all States of the region is crucial to ensure the promotion of customs related trade facilitation issues, such as simplification, predictability and transparency of procedures, as well as fighting against large scale trafficking and ensuring the security of the international trade supply chain.

The Directors General identified a certain number of actions to be implemented in order to achieve these goals.The overall objective is for the customs administrations to contribute to developing trade in the European region in a safe and secure economic environment.

Background documents:

Customs 2007 Seminar on Centralised Clearance, in Helsinki 20th and 21st June 2005

The European Commission, together with the Finnish customs administration, hosted a conference on centralised customs clearance as a follow up to the Budapest Seminar, to bring Member States, accession and candidate countries, trade, industry, freight forwarding and transport circles together with the European Commission, with the purpose of discussing and clarifying the concept of centralized clearance.

The seminar dealt with the links between centralised customs clearance and the concepts of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) and Single European Authorization (SEA). Legal and administrative issues arising from centralized clearance were also analysed in order to form a solid foundation for the drafting of the Customs Code Implementing Provisions (CCIP), both under the current Customs Code and under the modernized Customs Code. Information technology related issues, essential for the application of centralised customs clearance, were also discussed to ensure that the findings and recommendations of the Automated Importation System Group are taken into account in the process of drafting the CCIP.

The seminar was conducted in the form of presentations, followed by detailed examination and discussion of selected topics by three Working Groups; the main conclusions achieved from the debates were reported to the Plenary.

As main results of the seminar the participants welcome the principle of centralised clearance. Nevertheless, the need is recognised to find common solutions for the existing legal and administrative difficulties arising from the implementation of centralised clearance all over the European Union. For that, the European Commission, together with Member States and representatives of the different economic sectors, must develop a coordinated approach and be ready for compromise when divergent interests are involved and must be conciliated.

Customs Seminar on the Single Administrative Document in Vilnius, 13 - 15th April 2005

(the text on this seminar is also available in Lithuanian )

The European Commission will, together with the Lithuanian customs administration, host a seminar from 13 to 15 April 2005 in Vilnius, Lithuania, on the implementation of the reform agreed in 2003 of the Single Administrative Document (SAD) which is the documentary basis for customs declarations in the EU and in Switzerland , Norway and Iceland .

The seminar will also focus on the practical arrangements for the harmonisation of pre-arrival / pre-departure, summary and simplified customs declarations on which the Council and Parliament agreed in February 2005 (see IP/05/209 and MEMO/05/60 ). The seminar will bring together traders and customs and information technology experts from national customs administrations and the European Commission. The views expressed at the conference will be taken into account in the revised proposals that the Commission will present in the next few months.

The conference will take place in the Best Western Naujasis Vilnius, Konstitucijos av. 14, Vilnius .

Journalists are welcome to participate in the conference and in particular to attend the press conference that will take place from 10.30-11.00 on 15 April. Those who wish to participate should inform the Lithuanian Customs Service, Ms Ramune Tartilaite, Email: , (tel: +370 5 2617258). by 11 April 15h00.

See conference programme and documents .

See also Lithuanian Customs website.

Further details

The Single Administrative Document (SAD) is used throughout the Community and EFTA countries as import, export and transit customs declarations. The SAD data requirements are also applicable where paperless procedures are used.

The legislation on the SAD, which was introduced in 1988, was modernised in December 2003 in order to take into account the increased use of information technology for c ustoms declarations as well as the need for further harmonisation of data requ irements t h roughout the European Union (see Regulation 2286/03 ). The Vilnius seminar is intended to provide a forum for the discussion of the challenges presented by this Regulation which must be implemented by 1 January 2006 (see also Commission report of December 2004) and related issues.

The seminar will also focus on the new security and safety related provisions in the Customs code that were adopted in February. Common Position EC (EC) No 8/2005 amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code provides for a number of measures to tighten security around goods crossing international borders, including requiring traders to provide customs authorities with information on goods before they are imported into or exported from the European Union, via electronic summary declarations. T he information to be included in these declarations will have to be spelt out in implementing regulations. A thorough review of these issues by all interested parties had to take place as part of the consultation process.

Further information may be found on our website:

High-level seminar on the Implementation of the Multi-annual Strategic Plan for eCustoms in Poland , 6 - 8th April 2005

The Member States have committed themselves to introducing electronic services, within the framework of e-Europe, and in particular e-Government. Their commitments are embodied in an action plan. Furthermore, the Council Resolution of 5 December 2003, which endorsed the Communication by the Commission on a simple and paperless environment for customs and trade calls on the Commission to "draw up, in close co-operation with Member States, a multi-annual strategic plan, aiming at creating a European electronic environment, which is "consistent with the operational and legislative projects and developments scheduled or underway in the areas of customs and indirect taxation".

Objectives, responsibilities, timeframes and funding of eCustoms will be laid down in a Council decision. A non paper containing elements for a proposal for a draft Council decision and its annex ,based on the e Customs Multi-Annual Strategic Plan and its annex, has been reviewed with Member States, traders and other interested parties at the Customs 2007 Conference on the Multi-Annual Strategic Plan, in Poland on 6 - 8 th April. You will find more detailed information (presentations, speeches, and results) in the programme.

Budapest seminar on the Modernized Customs Code in Hungary, March 9-11 th 2005

The Communication from the Commission on a simple and paperless environment for customs and trade, of 24 July 2003, proposed a complete overhaul of the Customs Code, an objective which was endorsed by the Council resolution of 5 December 2003. As a result, a modernized Customs Code has been drafted by the Commission, and progressive versions of this draft have been discussed with Member States' customs administrations and European trade federations for more than a year. During the summer of 2004, an open Public consultation was carried out on the Internet.

The numerous comments received from various economic operators, Member States, and third countries have been taken into account in the latest drafting of a new version of the modernized Customs Code , Revision 4 . The Commission has established a table with consolidated comments of traders and the position of the Commission and an Addendum to Revision 4 of the draft modernized Customs Code , containing corrections and some further amendments to the text. The Explanatory Introduction to the modernized Customs Code has been updated and aligned with the corrected Revision 4. These documents will provide the primary basis for discussion at the seminar.

Given the importance of the proposal and its key role to the competitiveness of EU businesses and its impact to the national customs administrations, our Commissioner, Mr. Kovàcs, will bring all stakeholders together in the Customs 2007 seminar on the modernized Customs Code in order to clarify and discuss all important aspects of the reform (c.f. programme).

See also Press Release IP/05/263 .

Conclusions of the seminar.