The European Commission presented, on 8 January, a communication(1) on customs risk management and the security of the supply chain. For the EU executive, effective risk management is essential to security and to facilitating legitimate trade and protecting the financial and economic interests of the Union and its member states. Weaknesses have emerged in international transport security procedures, however, and it is vital to "complement and reinforce the efforts made at international level".
The Commission therefore proposes several key actions:
- ensuring quality, availability and fusion of trade data. This entails the provision by traders of quality data to all customs authorities concerned, at the right time and in the right place, for effective risk management
- improving cooperation with legitimate businesses to combat illicit traffic
- addressing risk management capacity differentials. The Commission suggests "homogeneous" implementation of risk management at all EU external borders and the creation of a "risk management capacity at EU level". This would enable suitable common risk criteria or EU-level risk profiles to be applied directly to EU-level data, rather than via 27 national systems, in crisis and other situations, notes the communication. A capability organised at EU level would also strengthen the capacity to identify common risks