The Commission welcomes the provisional political agreement reached on 16 March by the European Parliament and EU Member States on the new Customs Control Equipment Instrument for 2021-2027. The new instrument makes €1billion available for EU countries to buy, upgrade and maintain state-of-the-art customs control equipment such as x-ray scanners, automated number plate detection systems and other non-intrusive detectors for border crossing points as well as a variety of laboratory equipment for goods analysis. It will contribute to the implementation of the Customs Action Plan adopted in September last year.
The availability of modern and reliable customs control equipment will help to address weak points at the EU's external border, which are detrimental to the protection of the EU's financial interests and to, EU citizens' safety and security. This should help customs authorities to ensure the proper collection of customs duties and taxes, protect EU citizens from dangerous and fake goods, and facilitate growing levels of legitimate trade.
Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for the Economy, said: “As our societies and economies evolve, customs authorities are facing new challenges such as the huge increases in international trade volumes, heightened risks of fraud and a growing number of imports of dangerous goods. Once up and running, the €1 billion package agreed today will support Member States with cutting-edge tools to help front-line customs officials deal efficiently with these challenges to our Customs Union.”
Today's agreement is subject to formal confirmation by the European Parliament and the Council. Once in place, the instrument will support the Member States to purchase, maintain or upgrade relevant, modern, state-of-the-art, secure, safe and environmental friendly customs control equipment, which will contribute to raising the Customs Union to the next level.
Proposed by the Commission in 2018 as part of the Integrated Border Management Fund, the Customs Control Equipment Instrument addresses calls from Member States for support in financing detection equipment that help control goods crossing the EU's external borders. The initiative has the twin aims of improving customs performance, in particular by contributing to adequate and equivalent results of customs controls throughout the EU, while helping EU customs authorities to act as one single entity.
The EU's Customs Union has developed into a cornerstone of our Single Market, providing revenues for the EU budget, keeping EU borders safe and protecting our citizens from prohibited and dangerous goods such as weapons, drugs, environmentally harmful products and counterfeited goods. It facilitates EU trade with the rest of the world that is vital to the prosperity of the EU.
Source: European Commission Press Corner