Steering Committee meeting in Warsaw

Customs reform, scope of CELBET + and Czech Customs Administration as a new partner were one of the points discussed during the meeting

On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, another meeting of the CELBET 3 Steering Committee was held under the leadership of the National Revenue Administration of the Republic of Poland. The meeting was attended by the DGs of customs administrations of 11 EU Member States that have an external land border of the European Union.

In addition, for the first time, this meeting was attended by the Deputy Head of the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic, the country that declared its accession to the CELBET+ project, in its next phase, which will start in June 2024.

The Head of National Revenue Administration, Mr Bartosz Zbaraszczuk, opening the meeting, emphasized: Team of Experts on Eastern and South-Eastern Land Borders is one of the most important EU projects in the customs area in recent years. (…) This meeting is very much devoted to the future planning and further developments of teams expert within CELBET”. He has also underlined that CELBET is being taken to the next level, in line with Customs Union and that by common effort, the goal will be achieved.

The Committee opened the session by adopting the agenda and rules of procedure, thus creating a solid basis for fruitful discussions.

Representatives of the European Commission for the first time on the international forum presented the assumptions of the Customs Union Reform Package, which was officially announced on 17 May this year (link to Customs Union Reform Package site )

 –  We are happy that we have made a package of variety of community measures. You are the kind of nucleus of this. The pattern you are putting in the place is essential in the safety and security of the EU. We also have to make further step to be up to challenge and future crisis. The reform package is making the Customs Union future proof. –  said at the opening speech Mr Matthias Petschke, Director DG TAXUD.

The draft reform assumes the creation of a “Simpler and Stronger Customs Union”. This goal is to be achieved with the help of new tools: EU Data Hub and the EU Customs Authority in the next 10-15 years. The Data Hub will replace the existing customs IT systems  in EU Member States. The new Authority will also help deliver on an improved EU approach to risk management and customs control.

–  Customs has to cope with many issues like health, environment, security. Customs is fulfilling very important work. Excellent work has been done during Covid-19, Brexit and war crisis – Ms Michele Perolat, Head of Customs Policy Unit in TAXUD, underlined during the meeting.

–   Operational cognition of the Customs Authority will be inspired on CELBET experience and solutions. You are the seed of Customs Authority. Your experience in centers of excellence is paving a way to the great future – added Ms Michele Perolat.

A summary of recent achievements and ongoing initiatives implemented by CELBET expert teams was presented by Head of CELBET Mr Andras Bartha.

An important item on the agenda was the discussion on CELBET+, an initiative aimed at taking CELBET’s performance to a new level: seaports and airports. The scope and potential of CELBET+ were presented, and the active participation of the Czech Republic as a new partner in CELBET+ was announced.

Mr Jiri Trousil, Deputy DG of Czech Customs Administration, shared main information about Czech Customs and expressed his gratitude for an invitation: “It is a privilege to be here. I admire what you achieve”.

Evaluation of CELBET activities was the last point of the meeting. With the help of online tool, PR expert Ms Anna Hatała-Wanat  carried out live poll aimed at getting feedback on quality of CELBET products and areas that need to be improved and developed.

After conclusions and reflections, Steering Committee meeting has been closed by Deputy of the Head of National Revenue Administration Mr Mariusz Gojny.