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Taxation and Customs Union

Expert Teams under the Customs 2020 and Fiscalis 2020 programmes

What are Expert Teams?

An expert team is a collaboration tool between Member States which aims to pool resources to achieve the intended results more efficiently and quickly.

It requires a high degree of commitment by Member States and is co-funded by the EU.

The choice to use the expert team tool is project-driven. It is based on strategic or tactical choices between the needs to be fulfilled and the required level of involvement.

The enhanced cooperation in form of an expert team is set up for a maximum of two years and can, if needed, be renewed.

The expert team is one of the action types available under the "joint actions" type of actions, included in the Customs 2020 and Fiscalis 2020 programme regulation.

Various Expert Teams exist already both in the fields of Customs and in Taxation. New ones can be set up, based on a business case to show the need and purpose of the group.

Examples of Expert Teams under the Customs 2020 programme

  1. CELBET (Customs Eastern and South-Eastern Land Border Expert Team)

    CELBET pools expertise from 11 Eastern and South-Eastern land border Member States for strengthening and improving their operational co-operation at the external borders of the EU.

    The expert team is working in six areas:

    Countries participating: EE (grant coordinator), FI, LV, LT, PL, SK, HU, RO, BG GR, HR
    Main outcomes: coordinated controls in the 174 border crossing points, targeted risks profiles, mapping of customs equipment, best practices to optimise the use of equipment in border crossing points, training maps, identification of competencies and pilot training for customs officers, coordinated measurements at border crossing points and at EU level, dialogue with border guards in the border crossings points and with those from non-EU countries.
    What do these achievements bring to you?

    CELBET helps to improve the control of external border and preventing the entry of dangerous goods that could be harmful to people or to our environment or to the EU's, the Member States' and citizens' financial interest. The improved controls also contribute to smoother and faster border crossing.
    risk management (risk-based selection for controls/facilitation)

    • operational controls
    • equipment and procurement
    • training,
    • evaluation/performance measurement,
    • co-operation with border guards and neighbouring countries.
  2. Laboratories

    The objectives of the expert team are : to pool the expertise and equipment in a network (Meta-laboratory) of at least 10 EU Customs laboratories, to analyse samples, to share results of analysis at EU level, to elaborate an operational common/harmonised approach for analysis, tariff classification problems, making possible implementation of EU regulations and also fight against fraud and contraband on the basis of seizures.

    Countries participating: IT (grant coordinator), AT, BE, CZ2, CY, FR, GR, HU, LT, NL, PT, ES
    Main outcomes: shared identification of potential noxious substance.

    What do these achievements bring to you?

    The expert team helps EU customs better protect the safety and security of citizens.

    This network of laboratories shares the use of analytical equipment and techniques, and therefore provides for a larger range of analytical tools and reinforced collective expertise. Results of analysis are shared for the benefit of all. The expert team also contributes to the development of new approaches (e.g. methods and techniques).

  3. Expert group on Binding Tariff Information

    This team addresses specific problems in the functioning of the EU Customs Union connected to BTI. The EU's Binding Tariff Information (BTI) system identifies the right tariff classification for the imported or exported goods in or from the EU. This is the basis for determining customs duties.

    Countries participating: CZ-IT-EL-DK-IE-ES-FR-NL-PL-SI-SK (grant coordinator)-FI-SE
    What do these achievements bring to you?

    The expert team strengthens the functioning of the BTI system that allows for faster and smoother customs processing and to avoid conflicts of the classification of imported and exported products.

Examples of Expert Teams under the Fiscalis 2020 programme

  1. IT Collaboration Expert Team

    The objective of this Expert Team is to group Member States’ resources to invest in implementing national IT systems with similar functionalities in a more coordinated and collaborative way. This is expected to reduce the cost, complexity and time needed to develop and maintain Member States’ Taxation IT systems.
    IT Collaboration further promotes reusability and interoperability of IT systems.
    Countries participating: IE (grant coordinator)-FI-MT-HU-IT-PT-RO
    Main outcomes: an IT strategy and planning, support from specialists on early development of IT projects to facilitate their emergence.

    What do these achievements bring to you?
    The new IT taxation systems in Europe aim to reduce tax fraud and evasion, thus promoting a fairer taxation system for everyone. Their development and maintenance will be cheaper and faster.
    Better designed and functioning taxation and excise systems help traders comply more easily with the tax legislation in place.

  2. AEOI/ DAC2

    This Expert Team is set up to support the implementation of the Information Systems for mandatory automatic exchange of information (AEoI) in the field of taxation (as required in the Council Directive 2014/107/EU, so called DAC2).
    The scope of the Expert Team is to realise and implement a number of software modules to achieve the exchanges envisaged by the Directive. These modules will be developed in a way that will allow for them to be adapted to future similar international standards.
    Countries participating: MT (grant coordinator)-NL-SE-RO-PT
    Main outcomes: IT modules compatible throughout European IT systems, to exchange standardised information.

    What do these achievements bring to you?

    The new system will be developed quicker and at a reduced cost for the taxpayer. The system allows for a better exchange of information among tax administrations and will contribute to reducing tax fraud and evasion.
    The positive experience gained with the above expert teams allowed for their continuation and the creation of new expert teams.
    Examples for areas in which expert teams are likely to be set up in the future are:

    1. Transaction Network Analysis (TNA)
    2. Mobile Application for EMCS Controls Development
    3. Mobile Application for Excise Information and Tools Development
    4. Excise Duty Calculator development