Watch the full video message from Paolo Gentiloni.
The past year has shown more than ever the importance and professionalism of EU customs.
When hospitals needed life-saving masks and ventilators, customs officers across the world worked tirelessly to ensure that crucial medical equipment reached those who needed it most.
And as the UK left the EU, customs officers worked around the clock to limit border disruptions, and to protect our single market and our citizens.
The role of Customs officers goes so much farther than collecting duties.
We are ramping up our capabilities to collect, analyse and share information that will help customs to better manage risk and fight fraud.
We are further digitalising customs. Modern tools like the new Single Window and the reinforced Import Control System will make customs work easier and smarter, and contribute to a greener, paperless Customs Union.
The EU will also provide tools for training and funds for customs control equipment like scanners and sniffer dogs. State-of-the-art customs are essential to handle flows of goods efficiently, while reducing opportunities for fraud.
A well-functioning Customs Union is crucial for our recovery after the pandemic. But while we will have to do everything we can to support our economy and protect our financial interests, we should not forget what makes us a real Union: Our shared values. The ability to cooperate. Our willingness to exchange information. And our drive to help one another improve.
We should also spare no effort in reviving the multilateral system. The EU is a firm believer in the strength and value of cooperating in the framework of international bodies, such as the World Customs Organisation, but also in leading the discussions on possible reforms.
So on International Customs Day, I would like to congratulate all customs officers in Europe and around the world for their determination and their resilience. Today, we pay tribute to their work to keep our trade flowing and our borders open.
- Publication date
- 26 January 2021
- Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union