Representatives of the customs administrations of EU Member States, of countries participating in the Customs 2020 Programme and of the European Commission met in Albena, Bulgaria, from 7 to 8 June 2018, to discuss the exchange of customs-related information with third countries. The high level seminar was hosted by the Bulgarian Customs Administration within the framework of Bulgarian Presidency and jointly organised with the European Commission.
The participants discussed the current situation and the main constraints in the exchange of customs related information with third countries, and set out the main objectives of a systemic exchange of customs information with third countries to enhance risk management with a view to protecting the EU's financial interests, guaranteeing the safety and security of the EU and its citizens and facilitating legitimate trade.
In his opening address to the participants, the Director General of the Bulgarian National Customs Agency, Mr Georgi Kostov recalled that the topic was raised for the first time ten years ago in Bulgaria during the Club meeting of the Directors General of the Customs Administrations of the EU and Turkey.
“Member States have, over the years, unanimously shared the view that, regardless of existing initiatives to enable the exchange of customs-related information between EU customs administrations and third countries in specific circumstances, the undertaking of uniform action at EU level is required. I am convinced that the enhanced cooperation and the application of a uniform and systematic approach to the exchange of customs-related information between EU Member States on the one hand, and third countries on the other, will have a positive impact on the financial interests of the EU and its Member States and will also serve to prevent risks to the security and safety of our societies”,
stated Mr Kostov and, in the spirit of the motto of the Bulgarian presidency, added that the key to achieving our common goals is unity.