Establishing the 'Customs' programme for cooperation in the field of customs

In “An Economy that Works for People”

PDF version

The European Commission's proposal for a Regulation establishing the ''Customs' programme for cooperation in the field of customs' was tabled on 8 June 2018 and forms part of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the years 2021-2027.

The programme proposed by the Commission replaced 'Customs 2020', which covered the period up to 31 December 2020. Customs 2020 provided funds to support actions in view of modernising and improving the functioning of the customs union and cooperation among customs authorities of participating countries. The Commission's proposal instituted a new Customs programme for the next MFF period, 2021-2027. The proposal therefore repealed Regulation (EU) No 1294/2013 with effect from 1 January 2021, but transitional provisions ensured the continued application of that regulation to allow modification of actions undertaken under the customs 2020 programme until their closure.

Under Article 3(1), the main programme objectives remained similar to those of the previous programme. The updated specific objectives (Article 3(2)) instead were to support the preparation and uniform implementation of customs legislation and policy and to promote customs cooperation and administrative capacity building, including human competency and the development and operation of European electronic systems.

Customs cooperation would build capacity in the following two areas:

  • Human networking and competency building actions, including the exchange of good practices and operational knowledge.
  • Information technology (IT) capacity building actions, to fund new IT infrastructure and systems.

The proposal was subject to the ordinary legislative procedure, requiring support in both the Council and the European Parliament.

In the European Parliament, the proposal was examined by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO). The appointed rapporteur was Maria Grapini (S&D, Romania).

A provisional agreement between Parliament and Council was reached in December 2020, expressing broad support for the Commission's proposal.

The final text of the Council’s first reading position was adopted in March 2021. The European Parliament declared the Council's position approved without amendments in March 2021. The final act was signed in March 2021 and was published in the Official Journal on 15 March 2021. The Regulation entered into force on the day of publication and applied from 1 January 2021.

Author: Pieter Baert, Members' Research Service,

As of 20/05/2024.