Tag Archives: CU

Current general legal framework

Current general legal framework

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Current general legal framework

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Current general legal framework

Current general legal framework

The European Commission’s publication in 1987 of the Green Paper on the Development of the Common Market for Telecommunications Services and Equipment marked the start of the process of liberalisation of the telecommunications sector. The process continued with the gradual introduction of a legal framework for telecommunications comprising five main directives: the ‘Framework’, ‘Access’, ‘Authorisation’, ‘Universal Service’ and ‘Privacy’ Directives. In 2009, the Commission revised the ‘Telecoms Package’ by adopting the ‘Better Regulation’ and ‘Citizens’ Rights’ Directives and setting up the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).

Regulatory framework

  • The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)
  • Regulatory framework for electronic communications
  • Authorisation of electronic communications networks and services
  • Universal service and users’ rights
  • Access to electronic communications networks
  • Data protection in the electronic communications sector
  • Selection and authorisation of systems providing mobile satellite services

Competition

  • Competition in the markets in telecommunications terminals
  • Competition in the markets for electronic communications networks and services
  • Radio and telecommunications terminal equipment
  • Markets in telecommunications services and information: competition in the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment

Customs 2013

Customs 2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Customs 2013

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Police and customs cooperation

Customs 2013 (2008-2013)

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 624/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 establishing an action programme for customs in the Community (Customs 2013).

Summary

The aim of the Customs 2013 programme is to help customs administrations in participating countries to facilitate legitimate trade and to simplify and speed up customs procedures. The programme will start on 1 January 2008 and end on 31 December 2013.

Objectives

The main objectives of the Customs 2013 programme are:

  • supporting the development of a pan-European electronic customs environment which ensures that customs activities match the needs of the internal market, guarantees the protection of the EC’s financial interests and increases safety and security;
  • contributing to the creation of a modernised customs code;
  • increasing cooperation between customs administrations so that they carry out their tasks as effectively as if they were a single administration;
  • increasing international customs cooperation between EU customs administrations and third countries customs authorities in the field of supply chain security;
  • preparing for enlargement, including the sharing of experience and knowledge with the customs administrations of the countries concerned;
  • developing cooperation and exchange of information and best practices with the customs administrations of third countries, in particular candidate countries, potential candidate countries and partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy;
  • standardising and simplifying customs systems and controls to reduce the administrative burden and the cost of compliance for economic operators;
  • identifying, developing and applying best working practices.

Action

Customs 2013 will include activities in the field of communications systems and exchange of information, comparative analyses, seminars and workshops, project groups and steering groups, working visits, training activities and monitoring activities.

Participation in the Programme

The countries participating in the Customs 2013 programme are the EU Member States. The programme is also open to candidate countries benefiting from a pre-accession strategy, potential candidate countries (after the conclusion of framework agreements concerning their participation in Community programmes) and certain partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy (provided that a sufficient level of proximity has been attained and in compliance with relevant framework agreements).

Budgetary implications

The Customs 2013 programme will run for a period of six years, in accordance with the Financial Perspectives 2007-13. The amount to be borne by the Community budget is EUR 328.8 million.

BACKGROUND

Customs 2013 continues the activities carried out in the framework of the previous customs programmes, in particular Customs 2007, and supports the increasingly important development of e-customs.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 624/2007/EC 4.7.2007 OJ L 154 of 14.6.2007

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 6 April 2005, ‘Community programmes “Customs 2013” and “Fiscalis 2013″‘ [COM(2005) 111 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Pending its proposal for the future Customs 2013 (2007-2013) programme, the Commission proposes extending the Customs 2007 programme. The Commission believes that the Customs programme contributes to the aim of sustainable economic growth. One of the objectives of the 2013 programme is to ensure the smooth flow of external trade, while applying effective controls on goods. As in previous programmes, activities are intended to contribute to the smooth functioning of the internal market and preparing and ensuring the common implementation of Community customs legislation. In addition, the new programme must respond to new challenges and changes currently taking place, for example with respect to safety (management of external borders and control of the whole international supply chain), the creation of an electronic customs environment and the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

Decision No 253/2003/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2003 adopting an action programme for customs in the Community (Customs 2007).
The Customs 2007 programme (2003-2007) is intended to support and complement operations undertaken by the Member States to safeguard the functioning of the internal market in the customs field. This Decision will be repealed with effect from 1 January 2008.

Customs response to latest trends in counterfeiting and piracy

Customs response to latest trends in counterfeiting and piracy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Customs response to latest trends in counterfeiting and piracy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Businesses in the internal market > Intellectual property

Customs response to latest trends in counterfeiting and piracy

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 11 October 2005 from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on a customs response to latest trends in counterfeiting and piracy [COM(2005) 479 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication sets out a range of initiatives aimed at cracking down on counterfeiting and piracy. The measures in question will be implemented by customs.

Problems and threats

The industrial production of counterfeit goods poses a threat to:

  • the health, safety and jobs of EU citizens (e.g. fake medicines or foodstuffs);
  • the competitiveness and trade of the European Community (EC);
  • investment in research and innovation in the EC.

There was a 1000 % increase in counterfeiting and piracy between 1998 and 2004. In 2004 alone, 103 million fake or pirated articles were seized by customs officials in the EC; 4.4 million of these were fake foodstuffs and alcoholic drinks. Much of this traffic is sold on the black market, which means losses of tax revenue for Member States.

Most of the products seized are household items, with growing numbers of sophisticated hi-tech products being faked. The quality of these counterfeits is now so good that it is becoming difficult to distinguish the real article from the fake. What is more, high profits and relatively low risks make counterfeiting and piracy lucrative for those involved in organised crime.

Recommendations and Action Plan

The Commission proposes a range of recommendations aimed at tightening customs controls to help combat counterfeiting and piracy in the Community.

In its action plan, the Commission considers measures to be necessary in the following areas:

  • increasing protection at the level of Community legislation and operational performance;
  • strengthening the partnership between customs and businesses;
  • improving international cooperation.

Legislation

Customs controls on inbound traffic need to be improved and the suitability of the existing legal and operational measures has to be examined. Two concerns in particular must be addressed. The first involves the simplified destruction procedures that will reduce costs to businesses and public administrations alike. The second relates to the fact that travellers are currently permitted to import small quantities of personal-use items that may be counterfeit.

Operational performance

New techniques and instruments are needed to ensure that operational capacity is consistently high. Actions have to be developed and brought together in a new operational control plan based on risk management. The EU’s Customs Information System (CIS) enables the national customs services of Member States to exchange and search for customs information.

Partnership

Effective customs enforcement can be guaranteed only if businesses are also fully involved. Improving the early exchange of information between businesses and customs is also important. A possible solution could take the form of an EU electronic information system for intellectual property rights.

International cooperation

The main region producing counterfeit goods is Asia, and China in particular. International cooperation is crucial in halting the production and export of counterfeit goods. The Commission intends to:

  • introduce export and transhipment controls;
  • exploit and extend Customs Cooperation Agreements to cover regions where there is a significant level of counterfeit production;
  • enhance the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS);
  • strengthen cooperation with the World Customs Organization (WCO), Europol and Interpol;
  • enter into bilateral arrangements, especially with China.

Related Acts

Council Resolution of 13 March 2006 on a customs response to latest trends in counterfeiting and piracy [Official Journal C 67 of 18.3.2006]

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1891/2004 of 21 October 2004 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003 concerning customs action against goods suspected of infringing certain intellectual property rights and the measures to be taken against goods found to have infringed such rights [Official Journal L 328 of 30.10.2004].

Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights [Official Journal L 157 of 30.4.2004].

Council Regulation (EC) No 1383/2003 of 22 July 2003 concerning customs action against goods suspected of infringing certain intellectual property rights and the measures to be taken against goods found to have infringed such rights [Official Journal L 196 of 2.8.2003].

This Regulation sets out measures and conditions for the customs authorities to take action against goods found to have infringed IPR.

Council Regulation (EC) No 515/97 of 13 March 1997 on mutual assistance between the administrative authorities of the Member States and cooperation between the latter and the Commission to ensure the correct application of the law on customs and agricultural matters [Official Journal L 82 of 22.3.1997].

This Regulation establishes a centralised customs information system.

Customs Agreement with Japan

Customs Agreement with Japan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Customs Agreement with Japan

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

Customs Agreement with Japan

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2008/202/EC of 28 January 2008 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Government of Japan on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters [Official Journal L 62 of 6.3.2008].

Summary

Customs cooperation

This Agreement introduces cooperation encompassing all fields of customs legislation.

This cooperation shall be achieved by establishing channels of communication and by introducing coordination between customs authorities *.

The parties undertake to facilitate commercial transactions while increasing their level of security. The Agreement aims in particular at improving customs techniques and procedures. The aim is to strengthen cooperation at bilateral level and within international organisations.

Mutual administrative assistance

This Agreement provides for two types of assistance between authorities in the event of customs operations that are in breach of legislation:

  • assistance on request, concerning the lawfulness of and customs procedure for imports and exports of goods, suspects, places of storage and the transport of goods;
  • spontaneous assistance, concerning in particular the potential risks to the economy, public safety and public health. In the interests of the other party, the requested authority * provides all information relating to activities, resources and methods, goods, persons and means of transport.

Formal aspects and exceptions to assistance

Requests will be made in writing in a language understood by both authorities. In urgent cases, an oral request may precede the written request.

To facilitate the processing of the request, the applicant authority * will provide sufficient information on the measure requested, the object of and the reason for the request. It also provides information on the suspects, the legislation involved, the relevant facts and investigations carried out.

To comply with a request for assistance, the requested authority communicates all information already available to it or undertakes any necessary investigation. The measures taken shall be coordinated with the applicant authority.

If it is not possible to comply with a request, a reasoned communication is sent to the applicant authority without delay.

A request may be refused or postponed. It may also be made subject to conditions in the event of prejudice to the sovereignty, security, public policy or interests of a State, especially where the protection of the information transmitted cannot be guaranteed.

The data transmitted is confidential; it is protected under the laws and regulations applicable in the State of the applicant authority. However, this information may be used as evidence in the context of a preparatory inquiry.

A Joint Customs Cooperation Committee is responsible for the proper functioning of this Agreement.

Key terms of the Act
  • Customs authority: in Japan, the Ministry of Finance, and, in the European Union, the competent services of the Commission and the customs authorities of the Member States.
  • Applicant authority: a customs authority of a Contracting Party which makes a request for assistance on the basis of this Agreement.
  • Requested authority: a customs authority of a Contracting Party which receives a request for assistance on the basis of this Agreement.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2008/202/EC

28.1.2008

OJ L 62, 6.3.2008

Customs

Customs

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Customs

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Customs

Customs

The Customs Union, characterised by an absence of internal borders, is an essential foundation of the European Union (EU) which applies to all trade of goods (Article 28 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The customs duties on imports and exports, as well as charges having equivalent effect between Member States, are forbidden. At external borders, the Common Customs Tariff, along with the Integrated Tariff (TARIC), is applied to goods from third countries. Goods moving freely within the Union comply with the rules of the internal market and with certain provisions of the Common Commercial Policy. In addition, instruments such as the Community Customs Code ensure that Member States’ customs authorities apply the standards uniformly.

The Customs Union, initiated by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, was established on 1 July 1968. Its mechanisms have essentially evolved to adapt to new technologies and to ensure greater security, particularly with regard to protection against counterfeiting and piracy.

CUSTOMS COOPERATION

  • The contribution of taxation and customs policies to the Lisbon Strategy
  • Strategy for the evolution of the Customs Union
  • Strategy for the Customs Union
  • Customs 2013 (2008-2013)
  • Action programme: Customs 2007 (2003-2007)
  • The role of customs in the integrated management of external borders
  • Enhancing police and customs cooperation in the European Union
  • Customs response to latest trends in counterfeiting and piracy
  • European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan
  • Money laundering: prevention through customs cooperation

Cooperation between customs administrations

  • Convention on the use of information technology for customs purposes (CIS)
  • CIS system
  • A simple and paperless environment for customs and trade
  • A paperless environment for Customs and Trade
  • Convention on mutual assistance and cooperation between customs administrations (Naples II)

Community statistics

  • External trade: statistics relating to non-member countries

CUSTOMS CONTROLS AND FORMALITIES

Community customs code

  • Modernised Community Customs Code
  • Provisions implementing the Community Customs Code
  • Transport under the TIR or ATA procedure

Combined Nomenclature, Common Customs Tariff and Integrated Tariff

  • Combined Nomenclature, Common Customs Tariff and Integrated Tariff of the European Communities (Taric)

Customs checks and exemptions at internal and external borders

  • Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport
  • Elimination of controls and formalities applicable to baggage
  • Abolition of internal frontier controls for means of transport registered in a non-Community country
  • Exemptions for travellers
  • EU customs relief system
  • Community transit: action plan (1997)

SPECIFIC SCHEMES

  • Goods infringing intellectual property rights
  • Endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES)
  • FLEGT Licensing scheme
  • Detection technology in the work of law enforcement, customs and other security services

Military equipment

  • Suspension of import duties on certain weapons and military equipment
  • Abolition of customs formalities at internal frontier crossings for NATO military equipment

Drugs

  • Police/customs agreements in the fight against drugs
  • Drug precursors: external aspects
  • Drug precursors: internal aspects

AGREEMENT WITH THIRD COUNTRIES AND INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS

Agreement with third countries

  • Agreement with Canada
  • Agreement with China
  • Agreement with Hong Kong
  • Agreement with India
  • Agreement with the Republic of Korea
  • Container security: EU/US agreements
  • Customs Agreement with Japan

International conventions

  • Pan-Euro-Mediterranean system of cumulation of origin
  • International convention on the simplification and harmonisation of customs procedures
  • 1982 International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods
  • Convention on a common transit procedure

ENLARGEMENT

Ongoing Enlargement

  • Croatia – Internal market
  • Turkey – Internal market
  • The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Internal market
  • Iceland – Internal market

Enlargement of January 2007

  • Bulgari
  • Romania

Enlargement of May 2004

  • Cyprus
  • Estonia
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Poland
  • Czech Republic
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia