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Taxation and Customs Union
News article26 January 2018Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union


26 January is International Customs Day! Read the statement by Stephen Quest, EU Commission's Director General for Taxation and Customs Union

Happy International Customs Day !

Every year on 26 January the Customs Community worldwide celebrates the International Customs Day, to recognise and acknowledge the multi-layered and challenging work of Customs.

Traditionally the World Customs Organisation chooses each year a specific theme that is significant to the international Community. For 2018 the slogan chosen is “A secure business environment for economic development.”

In the EU, Customs and Business Partnership lies at the heart of the EU's Customs Union. With 50 years of unique presence in the Customs world, the EU's Customs Union has a long experience of close cooperation between Customs and Trade. This cooperation has been built on the principles of Predictability and Transparency, and Simplicity and Speed to ensure a sound and healthy business environment.

The Union Customs Code (UCC) is the capping stone of this close Partnership between Customs and Business. The UCC has been designed taking into account to a great extent the daily needs and existing practices of trade, providing more automation and simplification on customs procedures for trustworthy traders. In terms of Predictability and Transparency, the UCC covers most of the customs legislation in one package, promotes further the uniform application of customs legislation and streamlines customs procedures and practices to rationalise business experience when dealing with Customs. In matters of Simplicity and Speed the UCC provides for rapid and standard customs procedures and processes, the use of modern tools and technology and strives for further automation of all exchange of information through additional IT systems.

In a trade era moving towards a digital economy, in which timely delivery of the goods around the world, at the lowest cost and with enhanced service quality, presents great challenges for Customs worldwide, securing business environment for economic development has an obvious international dimension. At the international level, the European Union promotes facilitation of legitimate trade and security of the international supply chain in particular by negotiating and implementing Customs and Free Trade Agreements with multilateral or bilateral trading partners. Covering the areas of customs cooperation, security, trade facilitation, rules of origin and border enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) there is an obvious orientation towards Customs-Business Partnerships that lead to a sound business environment and economic development.

This multidimensional activity, both within the EU and at international level, contributes to a predictable, transparent and simple trade environment showcasing that economic development and prosperity can also be achieved through fruitful partnerships between Customs and Business.

We will continue to support the WCO in its constant quest for innovation and productive interaction with business.

Happy International Customs Day !

Stephen Quest
European Commission, Director General for Taxation and Customs Union


Publication date
26 January 2018
Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union