In its opinion, the EESC points out that implementing the single window environment for customs will take trade in goods into the new digital age through simplification and automation. Trade generally in the EU will grow, the Union will become more competitive, and customs will be modernised.
Customs Union action plan - Related Opinions
The EESC believes that the amount earmarked for the customs programme may prove to be insufficient in view of the breadth of the proposal's objectives and the targets set. It recommends Member States to increase their willingness to tackle fraud together.
The Committee believes that the amount of funding allocated is insufficient considering the aims to be pursued and considers it important to provide equipment with the commensurate speed to those customs offices under greatest pressure to carry out controls, such as sea border offices.
The EESC supports the proposed regulatory framework, comprising: amendments to the technical standards and rules of the Union Customs Code (UCC); corrections of technical errors and omissions, aligning the code with the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA); and the inclusion of the municipality of Campione d'Italia and the Italian waters of Lake Lugano in the EU customs territory, as requested by the Member State concerned. With regard to the inclusion of "territorial enclaves", the EESC recommends paying particular attention to making the necessary amendments at the same time to Directive 2008/118/EC (Excise duties) and Directive 2006/112/EC (the VAT Directive).
The EESC agrees with the Commission's proposal to develop the governance of the customs union, but believes that establishing it in a comprehensive way requires multilevel reform and resolute action on the technical front. It also considers that a switch to automated central clearance is needed.