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Taxation and Customs Union

Customs Risk Management Framework (CRMF)

The common risk criteria (CRC) and standards (Art.46, UCC)

Common risk criteria for security & safety

Customs at the first point of EU entry has the legal obligation to carry out the security and safety risk analysis on all the cargo regardless of the EU country of destination.

To assess the risks and respond appropriately, a set of criteria for security and safety purposes were developed. The criteria are included in the Member States’ risk analysis systems and are used to control consignments crossing the EU border 365 days a year.

The criteria are set out in an implementing act adopted by the Commission under Article 50(1) UCC and is not public.

The CRC, based on common risk analysis aim at

  • identifying high-risk consignments/goods that could have serious implications for the security and safety of the EU and its citizens and,
  • providing an equal level of protection along the entire external frontier

Common risk criteria and standards for financial risks – financial risk criteria (FRC)

In May 2018, the Commission adopted a Commission implementing decision laying down measures for the uniform application of customs controls by establishing common financial risk criteria and standards (FRC).

The FRC are a set of rules that allow the Member States customs clearance systems to systematically identify (or, "flag electronically"), transactions that present a potential financial risks and that require further scrutiny and/or control action. The FRC encompass the majority of known financial risks and contribute to a more consistent approach to customs controls.

The decision (C(2018)3293 final) is not available to the public and is only made available for customs risk management experts in the Member States.

Priority Control Areas

Priority Control Areas (PCAs) are the key mechanism in the CRMF that allows the Union to designate specific areas to be prioritised for customs control purposes. The identified areas are subject to enhanced customs controls carried out in a coordinated manner and based on common risk assessment criteria and real-time exchange of risk information.

Characteristics of Priority Control Areas

Priority areas may concern any kind of customs procedure, types of goods, traffic routes, means of transport or economic operators.

The selected areas are subject to increased levels of risk analysis and customs controls for a pre-determined limited period with a start and end date and, possibly, for interim review.

PCAs will have built-in assessment procedures and flexibility for Member States in order to ensure that the control actions taken are not disproportionate or unduly disruptive in terms of the effect on trade flows within a Member State or a particular port or frontier point.

The European Commission, in collaboration with the Member States, has organised PCAs on counterfeit medicine, drug precursors and the issues of valuation of textiles, smuggling of cigarettes and control of dual-use goods.

The exchange of risk information

The Common Customs Risk Management System (CRMS) is intended to provide a fast and easy-to-use mechanism to exchange risk-related information directly between operational officials and risk analysis centres in the Member States. It is a key element in the development of a Union risk management framework as it facilitates EU-wide customs intervention for the highest risks at the EU’s external frontier and within its borders.

The “Risk Information Form (RIF)” is completed online and is instantly made available to all customs offices connected.

The RIF:

  • Contributes to an equivalent level of customs control at the external frontier of the Union in relation to identified new risks.
  • Provides the necessary level of protection to citizens and to the financial interests of the EU and Member States
  • Establishes equivalent treatment of traders throughout the Union.