Customs controls are still insufficiently harmonised across Member States to properly safeguard the EU’s financial interests, according to a new report by the European Court of Auditors (ECA). Despite recent steps in the right direction, the EU rules are not designed well enough to ensure that Member States select imports for control in a uniform way. In fact, they apply the rules very differently, which could allow operators to target EU points of entry with lesser controls. The auditors also warn that some Member States do not conduct the required risk analysis on all declarations, and that imports posing a higher risk may not be properly prioritised for control.
“To prevent fraudulent importers from avoiding customs duties by targeting border entry points with lesser customs controls, the control selection procedures must be applied in a uniform manner throughout the Customs Union,” said Jan Gregor, the ECA member responsible for the report. “Currently, EU customs controls are not well harmonised, which hampers the EU’s financial interests.”