Tag Archives: Customs inspection

Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances: internal aspects

Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances: internal aspects

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances: internal aspects

Topics

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

Other

Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances: internal aspects

1) Objective

To prevent the manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances legitimately marketed in the Community from being diverted for illicit purposes.

2) Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 92/109/EEC of 14 December 1992 on the manufacture and the placing on the market of certain substances used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances [Official Journal L 370, 19.12.1992].

3) Summary

The Directive distinguishes two types of precursor: those with limited use for licit purposes, and those of essential importance for legitimate commercial use.

The Directive defines “scheduled substance”, “placing on the market”, “operator”, “UN Convention” and “International Narcotics Control Board”.

The Directive lays down requirements in respect of documentation, records and labelling. It guarantees the competent authorities access to documents and records for verification purposes.

Member States must designate a competent authority in order to ensure proper application of the Directive. The Directive also requires intra-Community cooperation between the competent authorities.

Member States are to take all appropriate measures to encourage operators to notify the competent authorities of all unusual orders or transactions relating to scheduled substances which show that the substances which are to be placed on the market or manufactured are likely to be used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances. Likewise, the Member States shall encourage all persons who suspect, from information obtained by reason of their professional duties, that scheduled substances which have been, or are about to be, placed on the market or manufactured are likely to be used for the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, to inform the competent authorities thereof.

With regard to the control measures, the Directive confers on the competent authorities powers of inspection, search and seizure. The competent authorities may prohibit the placing on the market or manufacture of scheduled substances if they believe that these substances are ultimately destined for the illegal manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.

An annual report drawn up by the Commission will be submitted to the International Narcotics Control Board. The report will provide information on the amounts of scheduled substances seized, the methods of diversion and illicit manufacture, any substances identified as having being used in illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances, and the nature and origin of processing equipment seized.

Act Date
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Directive 92/109/EEC 01.07.1993 01.07.1993

4) Implementing Measures

Regulation (EC) No 1485/96 [Official Journal L 188 of 27.7.1996]
Commission Regulation of 26 July 1996 setting out the conditions for implementing Council Directive 92/109/EEC with regard to customer declarations which specify the uses of certain substances used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
According to this Regulation, a customer who purchases a classified substance falling within categories 1 or 2 in Annex I to Directive 92/109/EEC must complete a declaration on his supplier’s premises that specifies the use(s) of that substance. The Regulation also provides that a specific declaration shall be drawn up which covers multiple transactions in the substances falling within category 2.

This Regulation was amended by:

Commission Regulation No 1533/2000 of 13 July 2000 [Official Journal L 175 of 14.07.2000]

This Regulation amends the model declarations of use in respect of individual and multiple transactions, and establishes a uniform model for all operators so as to facilitate the monitoring of these declarations by the Member State authorities.

Recommendation [Official Journal C 114 of 15.05.2002]

Council Recommendation of 25 April 2002 on the need to enhance cooperation and exchanges of information between the various operational units specialising in combating trafficking in precursors in the Member States of the European Union.

Full text of the recommendation

Amendments to the Annexes to the Directive:

Directive 2003/101/EC [Official Journal L 286 of 04.11.2003]

This Directive replaces Annexes I and II of the basic directive on 1 January 2004.

5) Follow-Up Work

On 23 January 1998, the Commission presented a proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive amending Council Directive 92/109/EEC on the manufacture and the placing on the market of certain substances used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances [COM(98) 22 final – Official Journal C 108 of 07.04.1998].

Co-decision procedure (COD/1998/17)

First reading: on 20 November 1998, the European Parliament approved the Commission proposal subject to certain amendments. The Commission accepted most of these amendments.

The Commission presented an amended proposal on 28 April 1999. [COM(99) 202 final – Official Journal C 162 of 09.06.1999]

This proposal was withdrawn by the Commission and replaced by:

Proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation on drug precursors [COM(2002) 494 final – Official Journal C 20 E of 28.01.2003].

This proposal aims to transform Directive 92/109/EEC into a Regulation, in order to simplify the legislation and make it more user-friendly both for economic operators and for the competent authorities in the Member States. The purpose of the new Regulation is to establish harmonised measures for controlling and monitoring certain chemical substances frequently used in the manufacture of illicit narcotic drugs. It contains rules on licensing, customer declarations and labelling. A monitoring procedure will prevent barriers to the free trade of these substances arising between Member States.

Co-decision procedure (COD/2002/0217)

On 26 February 2003, the Economic and Social Committee gave its opinion. [Official Journal C 95 of 23.04.2003]

On 11 March 2003, the European Parliament approved the Commission proposal subject to certain amendments. The Commission accepted some of these amendments.

On 19 May 2003, the Council reached a political agreement on its common position.

On 27 May 2003, la Commission adopted an amended proposal [COM(2003) 304 final – not yet published in the Official Journal].

On 29 September 2003, the Council adopted the common position [Official Journal L 277 E of 18.11.2003].

On 7 October 2003, the Commission stated its agreement with the Council’s common position.

The common position is currently before Parliament for its second reading.

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.

Strategy for the evolution of the Customs Union

Strategy for the evolution of the Customs Union

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for the evolution of the Customs Union

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

Strategy for the evolution of the Customs Union

Act

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 1 April 2008 entitled Strategy for the evolution of the Customs Union [COM(2008) 169 final- Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Customs Union, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2008, is undergoing a major review. The Commission and Member States have identified the need to adapt to changing production and consumption patterns, increasing international trade and to global threats such as terrorism, organised crime, climate change and dangerous goods.

This Communication aims to complete the process by reforming the future organisation and human dimension of customs administrations. This implies improving the skills of customs staff and re-allocating resources efficiently and effectively.

Customs account for 13.2% of the Community budget by way of collected duties, representing more than 15 billion EUR per year. Sourcing of goods and materials has become global, and concepts such as just-in time delivery have raised expectations for economic operators of less intrusive customs controls.

Customs not only support legitimate trade and enhance competitiveness, but also play a key role in ensuring the correct payment of duties and taxes, combating counterfeiting and piracy, supporting the fight against fraud, organised crime, drugs and terrorism, implementing trade policy measures and protecting the environment and citizens against all manner of hazardous goods.

Modernisation of the legal and technological environment in customs includes the following:

the amended Community Customs Code, which has enabled European Union (EU) customs authorities to implement some of the most advanced security requirements in the world;

the Modernised Customs Code, which will simplify customs and trade tasks to make them more efficient and cost-effective;

the Electronic Customs Decision, which sets out the basic framework and major deadlines for the electronic customs project and provides a basis for the Commission, Member States and economic operators to plan their own resources;

the further development of pan-European electronic customs systems, which will help create a robust chain of communication between customs authorities throughout the Community, customs and other public authorities operating at the border, and public authorities and traders;

the proposal to amend the mutual administrative assistance provisions in customs matters would streamline and improve current IT systems to enhance capacity in the fight against fraud in the customs sector.

The new strategic framework aims to transforming customs into a modern and responsive partner to trade, whilst protecting fiscal, safety and security interests. EU customs must fulfil the following objectives:

  • Protection:

    Customs services need to ensure protection of society as well as financial interests of the Community. Customs shall reinforce the fight against fraud, organised crime, drugs and terrorism as well as against the spread of illicit, dangerous or counterfeited and pirated goods. This should be achieved by further developing effective risk assessment and using mutual administrative assistance to ensure proper application of the law in customs-related matters.

  • Competitiveness:

    Customs authorities can support the competitiveness of European businesses by modernising and harmonising working methods (e.g. using systems-based approaches) as well as by creating a paperless customs environment (implementing electronic customs). In this respect the Commission recommends EU customs services to take a pro-active stance in endorsing international standards such as those developed by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and developing new EU standards, which could serve as a model worldwide.

  • Facilitation of legitimate business:

    Overall customs need to work at improving their control systems, in order to reduce administrative burden and interference in the flow of goods to the minimum necessary to ensure security objectives. Customs can also support legitimate economic operators by providing facilitations with a view to reducing compliance costs.

  • Control:

    Customs services can manage and control supply chains used for international movement by improving and strengthening effective checks, as well as correctly and consistently implementing Community and national legislation relating to the control and movement of goods. Furthermore effective and systematic enhancement of sharing of risk information needs to be enhanced as well as establishing end-to-end control and management in the entire supply chain.

  • Cooperation:

    The customs authorities of the Member States, the government agencies and the business community continue to cooperate closely in achieving the common objectives of protecting citizens as well as the financial interests of the Community. Customs shall take a leading role in developing new mechanisms of coordination between border-related agencies (development of Single Window). Also the co-operation with business should be enhanced and the international cooperation and mutual administrative assistance should be reinforced.

  • New working methods and competences:

    Customs services need to continuously develop and strategically invest in the skills, competences and resources, which can maintain customs efficiency and effectiveness. A structured approach is the first step ensuring a synchronised and harmonised method throughout the 27 Member States for achieving the strategic objectives.

    The above-mentioned objectives will be incorporated into a multi-annual strategic plan. This plan will be elaborated in detail in a comprehensive implementation plan which will represent a tool for planning specific actions and projects. These documents will provide a clear direction for customs services’ operations in 2013 – 2019. With the approval of the strategic framework all systems of data exchange and databases, including those dedicated to the fight against fraud, should be interoperable and operate complementarily.

Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport

Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport

Topics

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

Customs

Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1100/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008 on the elimination of controls performed at the frontiers of Member States in the field of road and inland waterway transport (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This regulation eliminates frontier * controls * on road vehicles and inland waterway vessels travelling between European Union (EU) countries. Checks, inspections, verifications or formalities must no longer be performed as border controls within the EU, but simply as part of the normal control procedures applied in a non-discriminatory manner throughout the territory of an EU country.

The controls concerned are referred to in Annex I of this regulation. The Commission may propose amendments to this annex to take account of relevant technological developments. The annex refers to both EU and national legislation which provide for controls and inspections, including:

  • checks on the maximum authorised weights and dimensions of road vehicles;
  • checks on documentation showing roadworthiness of motor vehicles and their trailers;
  • inspections to verify that technical requirements for inland waterway vessels are fulfilled;
  • inspections of passenger lists on bus and coach services;
  • driving licence checks;
  • controls relating to the means of transport for dangerous goods;
  • controls relating to the means of transport for perishable foodstuffs.
Key terms used in the act
  • Frontier: either an internal frontier within the EU or an external frontier, where carriage between EU countries involves crossing a non-EU country.
  • Control: any check, inspection, verification or formality performed at the frontiers of EU countries by the national authorities which signifies a stop or a restriction on the free movement of the vehicles or vessels concerned.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1100/2008

4.12.2008

OJ L 304 of 14.11.2008

Targeting criteria for controls and collection of customs and police information

Targeting criteria for controls and collection of customs and police information

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Targeting criteria for controls and collection of customs and police information

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 > Combating drugs

Targeting criteria for controls and collection of customs and police information

More integrated use of customs and police information for efficient planning of law enforcement measures in combating drug trafficking.

2) Document or Iniciative

Joint Action 97/372/JHA of 9 June 1997 adopted by the Council on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, for the refining of targeting criteria, selection methods, etc., and collection of customs and police information [Official Journal L 159 of 17.6.1997].

3) Summary

Member States’ customs authorities must strive to optimise the use of targeting criteria and structured selection methods, and the collection of customs and police information on the combating of drug trafficking. For this purpose they must take the measures set out at points 2 to 8, within existing judicial and practical possibilities.

Member States’ customs authorities should make more intensive use of information available from all business sectors concerned, notably the transport sector.

They should step up the mutual exchange of intelligence and information for the purpose of risk analysis by making greater use of the CIS (customs information system) electronic mailbox system, pending the operational development of the CIS database.

They should make greater use of all available European customs information systems regarding sea-, air-, land traffic and others (e. g. AIR-Info, BALKAN-Info, CARGO-Info, MAR-Info, YACHT-Info).

They should improve targeting procedures by organising international joint customs surveillance operations, as provided for in the revised arrangements on this area approved by the Council of 29 November 1996. Participation in such operations by third countries should be encouraged, where appropriate.

Member States’ customs, police and other law enforcement authorities should, as far as possible, intensify mutual exchanges of available intelligence and information. This should apply at national, European Union and international level and also include European Union and international institutions.

Member States’ law enforcement authorities should, where appropriate, analyse the intelligence and information available.

Member States’ customs authorities should draw up guidelines for best practice to encourage greater use of risk analysis techniques.

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work