State of Play of the Interstate Customs Computer Network

01-12-1998

The process of integration within the European Union has led, in a relatively short period, to the creation of a Single Market by means of the removal of physical, technical and fiscal barriers. On the other hand, the process of integration among legislation and customs authorities of the different Member States has not been so rapid, causing serious problems and inconsistency. Customs procedures more exposed to frauds are import/export movements under a transit procedure (evasion of VAT and duties) and intra-community movements (evasion of VAT and excise duties); who primarily benefits from frauds are criminal organisations1, and not traders now and then evading financial obligations. Bad consequences are also born by honest traders covering the movements with guarantees. Since the early stages it was expected that extensive application of information networks would have made up for the inadequacy of the customs system. As a matter of fact a number of projects concerning the electronic interchange of standardised data and information has been launched since the early 80s to achieve that aim, but results still leave much to be desired in comparison with original objectives. The existence of a national customs information system in each MS can no doubt influence (positively or negatively) the development of the European Customs network and it seems that the prospect of a unique customs information system at European level is very remote. The cause of the difficulties experienced in the development of the European Customs network is attributed to the presence of different information systems in each MS. On the contrary some cases, described below, demonstrate the actual possibility to implement such a network among several information systems with the necessarily high security standard. The study discusses in details the development and the current state of the art of the European Customs Information System and presents alternative options for the establishmen

The process of integration within the European Union has led, in a relatively short period, to the creation of a Single Market by means of the removal of physical, technical and fiscal barriers. On the other hand, the process of integration among legislation and customs authorities of the different Member States has not been so rapid, causing serious problems and inconsistency. Customs procedures more exposed to frauds are import/export movements under a transit procedure (evasion of VAT and duties) and intra-community movements (evasion of VAT and excise duties); who primarily benefits from frauds are criminal organisations1, and not traders now and then evading financial obligations. Bad consequences are also born by honest traders covering the movements with guarantees. Since the early stages it was expected that extensive application of information networks would have made up for the inadequacy of the customs system. As a matter of fact a number of projects concerning the electronic interchange of standardised data and information has been launched since the early 80s to achieve that aim, but results still leave much to be desired in comparison with original objectives. The existence of a national customs information system in each MS can no doubt influence (positively or negatively) the development of the European Customs network and it seems that the prospect of a unique customs information system at European level is very remote. The cause of the difficulties experienced in the development of the European Customs network is attributed to the presence of different information systems in each MS. On the contrary some cases, described below, demonstrate the actual possibility to implement such a network among several information systems with the necessarily high security standard. The study discusses in details the development and the current state of the art of the European Customs Information System and presents alternative options for the establishmen

Auteur externe

Maurizio Pedrelli (Pragmata, Reggio Emilia, Italy)