On behalf of the Union of Finance Personnel in Europe (UFE), which is the only organization representing the interests and views of 400.000 tax and custom officers throughout Europe, I would like to give feedback as following:
UFE welcomes the action plan of TAXUD concerning the future of the customs union.
For many years, UFE members have been fighting for the harmonization of custom rules applied within and on the borders of Europe.
Unfortunately, if all the European customs administrations enforce the same laws, they diverge not only in the application and in interpretation of these laws, but especially regarding the application of material and human resources entrusted to the civil servants responsible for applying enforcing Customs Law.
A customs documentary or physical check does not have the same meaning and intensity throughout Europe, the sanctions in the event of fraud are not harmonized, so the protection of the financial interests of Europe is not identical in every part of the European territory.
Our association continues to call for the definition of common rules for controls and sanctions, and continues to demand minimum standards of control.
A survey among UFE member unions revealed, that it will be hard to apply common rules, if the number of customs officers per 100,000 inhabitants varies from 7 to more than 70 depending on the Member State and if the number of customs officers per 10,000 declarations varies from 2 to more than 40 per member state.
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