Wider international cooperation is crucial in protecting the interests of EU citizens and business worldwide. The EU has signed more than 50 international agreements providing for customs cooperation and mutual administrative assistance with 80 countries outside the EU to support controls and enforcement and to simplify and harmonise customs procedures, which in turn reduces the administrative burden and costs for European companies.
Trade disruptions in 2020 have also affected countries with cooperation agreements in 2020 and the share of EU trade covered has consequently decreased (71.8% compared to 84.2% in 2019). These agreements ensure administrative assistance between EU and third country customs authorities in regards to the correct application of preferential rules of origin.
The mutual exchange of knowledge and experience with non-EU customs administrations helps to increase their quality of service.
The technical assistance covered training, capacity building, sniffer dog training, etc.
EU customs officials mainly provided training and other capacity building activities to other non-EU European countries, while Asian countries were also among the significant beneficiaries.
Source: CUP Network
International cooperation and trade
The EU trade volume with non-EU countries, with which the EU has a binding agreement on customs cooperation, represents a major proportion of EU external trade.