Taxation and Customs Union

New Action Plan to further support EU customs in their vital role of protecting EU revenues, prosperity and security

On 28 September 2020, the European Commission launched a new Customs Union Action Plan, setting out a series of measures to make EU customs smarter, more innovative and more efficient over the next four years. The measures will strengthen the Customs Union as a cornerstone of the Single Market. They also confirm its major role in protecting EU revenues and the security, health and prosperity of EU citizens and businesses.

The Action Plan includes a number of initiatives in areas such as risk management, managing e-commerce, the promotion of compliance and customs authorities acting as one:

  • Risk management: the Action Plan focuses in particular on ensuring greater availability and use of data and data analysis for customs purposes. It calls for intelligent, risk-based supervision of supply chains and for establishing a new analytics hub within the Commission for collecting, analysing and sharing customs data that can inform critical decisions, help customs authorities identify weak points at the EU's external borders and manage future crises.
  • Managing e-commerce: in this regard, and in order to tackle the new challenges of e-commerce, obligations on payment service providers and online sales platforms will be strengthened to help fight customs duty and tax fraud in e-commerce.
  • Promotion of compliance: the upcoming ‘Single Window' initiative will make it easier for legitimate businesses to complete their border formalities in one single portal. It will allow for more collaborative processing, sharing and exchange of information and better risk assessment for customs authorities.
  • Customs authorities acting as one: the Action Plan details the roll-out of modern and reliable customs equipment under the next EU budget. A new reflection group formed of Member States and business representatives will be set up to help prepare for future crises and challenges such as unanticipated global developments and future business models.

More information the Customs Action Plan webpage