11/2011 CONEX makes its voice heard in Brussels on Customs Code reform Print

With a view to discussing preparations for the new European Union Modernized Customs Code, CONEX representatives travelled to Brussels to meet deputies and councilors in charge of customs issues at the Parliament, the EU Commission and the EU Council.

Must anticipate to influence


In recent years, IT and regulatory projects have followed in quick succession in Europe in order to make the customs declaration one of the first dematerialized documents to be exchanged between operators and the administrations of the country receiving the goods.


“With the irreversible development in international trade and the growing will of governments to better control the physical flow of goods, the dematerialization of customs is a major challenge for the new economic world order” explains Mr Alban GRUSON.


As scheduled, an own-initiative report on the Modernized Customs Code will be voted in November 2011 in a plenary session. In anticipation of this vote, CONEX undertook a lobbying approach at the beginning of the year which enabled it to meet influential European interlocutors in a private meeting during the legislative process. Since the future of Customs modernization is currently being played out in Brussels, CONEX is determined to have its voice heard by presenting its position on the subject and to make its expectations known.


Its CEO, Mr. Alban GRUSON, was also able to collect information at the source, better understand the objectives and analyze the consequences of the EU own-initiative report.


The interlocutors, Italian, Greek, German, Danish and French, in charge of the new Customs Code preparatory work, welcomed the CEO and founder of CONEX to the European Parliament during informal hearings before summer. They met an expert deeply involved in customs dematerialization. The goal for CONEX is to keep and maintain relations with all the contacts made.


ICS, useful experience feedback

A hot topic, the assessment on the implementation of ICS in Europe has allowed CONEX to provide feedback from the experience as well as a global view of the issue.


The implementation of ICS has given CONEX the opportunity to establish close ties with customs administrations all over Europe and further afield. Its team dedicated to relations with customs operators on 4 continents makes CONEX one of the best-placed observers of world customs organization on the ground.


Or should we say customs organizations, considering the diversity of the situations… The implementation of ICS in Europe was a project that turned out to be longer and more complicated than expected! It brought to light the enormous national customs organization diversity within the 27 EU Member States. These differences can be seen both within the daily treatment of declarations and procedures and in the means made available to conform to the new ICS regulation.


At the heart of its presentation, CONEX demonstrated 3 difficulties which have been highlighted by the EU ICS project, which by their persistent nature will undoubtedly re-appear:


1) A problem of access to information


2) A problem of transparency, of competition and monopoly, in ports and airports


3) A problem of strategic data protection in Europe


The Commission is aware of the difficulties evoked by CONEX, all the more considering the current economic context of budgetary and public servant reductions. However, it is trying to answer such issues by organizing ‘workshops’ with Member States and active trade associations, as a member of which CONEX will continue to reinforce its presence.


“From now on, CONEX will be identified as a major player in the customs sector and can address the Commission directly in the event of an irresolvable problem. Certainly very useful relations for the future…” concludes Alban GRUSON