Nedzhmi Ali on the establishing, as part of the Integrated Border Management Fund, the Instrument for financial support for customs control equipment
During the meeting of CONT Committee on 18.10.2018, Nedzhmi Ali (ALDE) presented a draft opinion to IMCO for the establishing of the Instrument for financial support for customs control equipment, for which he is rapporteur.
Dear Mme Chair, colleagues,
The 2 140 Customs offices at the external borders of the EU play an important role providing a substantial part of the Traditional own resources, thus generating approximately 15% of the income part the Union´s budget. Correct collection of customs, which this regulation also facilitate, helps safeguarding the financial interests of the Union and maintaining the single market.
In this regard, the Commission´s proposal for a Regulation establishing as part of the Integrated Border Management Fund, Instrument for financial support for customs control equipment provides the necessary financial resources for customs to perform their tasks. This Instrument aims at improving equivalence in the performance of customs control throughout Member States to avoid the diversion of flows of goods towards the weakest points.
The financial resources dedicated for customs control equipment will support the purchase, maintenance and upgrade of the eligible detection equipment for customs controls in the wide sense. The Instrument should also in some cases cover detection equipment used for control purposes beyond customs controls.
The Commission´s proposal is consistent with and will contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Customs Union. The proposed instrument will complement the actions foreseen under the EU´s Customs programme. Furthermore, the proposal is consistent with Union policies in the area of safety and security. The Instrument will enable maximising the impact of the Union budget by supporting co-sharing and inter-operability of control equipment and thereby also supporting inter-agency cooperation as a component of the European integrated border management. There will be synergies between the EU Anti-fraud Programme and the customs control equipment instrument, thus contributing to the protection of the financial and economic interests of the Union and its Member States.
In addition to the Commission´s proposal, in our Opinion to IMCO we suggest a number of amendments that aim at further improving the regulation from the budgetary control point of view. Amendments are concentrated on the transparency, equal treatment and non-discrimination, as well as inclusion of technical training of the personal operating with the equipment.
Other suggestions are related to the indicators and to the performance reporting of the Instrument. The Commission should provide the European Parliament and the Council with updated information on the performance. Concerning the financial envelope for the implementation of this Instrument during the next programming period totaling 1.3 billion EUR we presented in the line with the EP resolutions also the financing in 2018 constant prices.
And finally, we suggest in the proposed regulation a new Annex to be developed to present the justified exceptional circumstances for funding in excess of the ceiling of financing within the Instrument.