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Taxation and Customs Union
Speech26 January 2022Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union1 min read

Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni video message on International Customs Day

Every year on the 26th of January, we recognise the crucial work of customs authorities around the world.

This International Customs Day, I want to pay tribute in particular to the hard working customs officials who form the backbone of the EU’s Customs Union – the largest of its kind in the world.

Our Member States’ customs authorities have a major role to play in implementing policies that support our Single Market and our common priorities.

They are indispensable actors in our climate change mitigation efforts and in our economic recovery.

And their work to facilitate delivery of COVID-19 vaccines and protective equipment has been central to our progress in fighting the pandemic.

Customs officials are in the front line in the fight against fraud, terrorism and organised crime, and strive to keep our citizens safe from illegal and dangerous goods.

They protect our financial interests by efficiently and effectively collecting duties and taxes.

And they support our businesses by helping goods to flow smoothly back and forth across borders.

As we reach the half-way point of this Commission’s mandate, it is a timely opportunity to re-emphasise President Von der Leyen’s ambition to take EU customs to the next level. 2022 is the decisive year of delivery: where big decisions are taken on how we get there.

Together with  our Wise Person’s Group on the future of customs, the European Commission is exploring how best to deal with burning issues for EU customs: the digital transformation, the boom in e-commerce and the need for more cohesion between customs systems and processes.

We will build on their recommendations, delivering a proposal for new legislation by the end of this year, and will work with Member States to deliver real reform for our Customs Union.

We are also extremely active in the international sphere – leading by example and making efforts to raise global ambition in the World Customs Organisation - to the benefit of all. 

EU customs have already shown themselves to be pioneers when it comes to taking on new challenges and embracing new ways of working.

On this International Customs Day, I want to sincerely thank our customs officials for their professionalism, reactivity and adaptability in this ever-changing world.


Publication date
26 January 2022
Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union