Regular consultation with representatives from industry associations is important for developments in the area of customs matters which have a direct impact on the international logistical processes. The TRADE CONTACT GROUP (TCG) provides a platform for such regular consultations at Union level on the development and implementation of customs related issues and developments of customs policy. The trade information and consultation processes as agreed in the Terms of Reference for the TCG aim at providing a structure for ensuring that the involvement of trade in the strategic as well as operational part of Union Customs initiatives takes place in a coordinated and appropriate way.
The TCG allows for voicing traders' requirements on the one hand and making best use of existing trade expertise throughout the realization of EU customs initiatives on the other hand. The information and consultation processes with the TCG is further complemented with targeted consultations on specific customs related issues, as well on European level as national level with the customs authorities in the Member States.
The members of the TCG are main international associations (Europe or world-wide) involved in customs related activities at the European level. Applications for Membership are accepted according to criteria established in the TCG Terms of Reference. The status of the trade representatives within the TCG is of a "consultative" nature. The structured dialogue between Commission and trade occurs on a regular basis. The group meets at least three times a year, in Brussels. When considered necessary additional ad-hoc meetings can be organized. Also in addition to the regular TCG meetings, thematic meetings can be organized for discussions on a specific subject.
The meetings of the TCG are hosted by the European Commission's Taxation and Customs Union Directorate-General and are chaired by the Director of Customs Policy. Coordination of the TCG is covered by unit TAXUD/A1, which can be contacted for further information by e-mail: TAXUD-UNIT-A1@ec.europa.eu
The mandate of TCG is based on the Terms of Reference. The TCG provides the main forum for an exchange of views with Commission's services on all customs related issues, particularly in respect of:
- developments of customs policy;
- implementation of current and future customs legislation;
- the Union Customs Code;
- the electronic customs initiative.