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Taxation and Customs Union
News article25 January 2019Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union


International Customs Day 2019 takes place tomorrow

International Customs Day 2019 takes place tomorrow

On 26 January, the global customs community celebrates International Customs Day 2019. Customs authorities of EU Member States work hard to protect the EU from unfair and illegal trade while supporting legitimate business activity. They also ensure the security and safety of EU citizens by fighting against illegal trade, organised crime and terrorism. EU customs authorities co-operate closely with business and other authorities, using modern IT techniques and tools including highly specialised equipment and by applying cutting-edge risk management methods. The EU's Customs Union, which celebrated its 50 years anniversary in 2018, is unique in the world.

It is a foundation of the European Union and essential for the proper functioning of the Single Market. Once cleared by customs in one Member State, goods can move freely within the Union on the basis that all Member States apply the same revenue and protection rules at external borders. The EU recently proposed to dedicate almost €1 billion for the EU’s customs programme in the next EU budget which can help to increase cooperation and data exchange between customs authorities and to support and train the EU’s 115,000 customs officials in their work. A further €1.3 billion has been proposed to help Member States purchase, maintain and replace state-of-the-art customs equipment, to deal with challenges such as the enormous increase of e-commerce and threats such as terrorism and other serious crimes. Negotiations between the co-legislators on these crucial funding proposals should start as soon as possible. At the same time, the EU continues to explore how the use of new technologies can better serve the work of customs authorities. A wealth of material including videos, facts and figures on the EU’s Customs Union is available on the Commission’s website. For more information on International Customs Day, head to the World Customs Organisation website.


Publication date
25 January 2019
Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union