Within the EU customs union, the customs authorities of EU Member States are responsible for carrying out a wide range of checks before goods are carried out on EU customs territory, aimed at protecting EU revenues as well as the security, safety, health and prosperity of EU citizens and businesses. The Commission communication sets out an action plan to translate President von der Leyen's policy directions into tangible benefits for European society, businesses and citizens. Given the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to ensure an efficient management of the EU customs union.
The Single Window is defined as a facility which allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents with a single entry point to fulfill all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements. The proposal establishing the European Union Single Window Environment for Customs is the first step in implementing a wider action plan launched in September 2020, fully in line with the Commission’s long-term vision of taking the Customs Union to the next level.
The EESC strongly supports the Commission's proposal – Next Generation EU – as a specific tool for a quick and effective recovery.
The EESC takes a very positive view of the Commission's two main decisions:
- to introduce an extraordinary financial recovery instrument as part of the multiannual financial framework
- to raise common debt, which will be repaid over a long period of time, and prevent the extraordinary financial burden from falling directly on the Member States in the short run.
The EESC strongly welcomes the fact that the newly proposed instrument should be closely coordinated with the European Semester process, and furthermore welcomes the Commission's proposal to introduce additional genuine own resources based on different taxes (revenues from the EU Emissions Trading System, digital taxation, large companies' revenues).
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 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 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.
On 12 June 2014, the Commission presented a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council codifying Council Regulation (EC) No 673/2005 of 25 April 2005 establishing additional customs duties on imports of certain products originating in the United States of America.