I have abstained on this Resolution concerning the fight against customs fraud and the protection of EU own resources. Although the present text presents interesting elements, I disagree with the suggestion of transferring the responsibilities of customs authorities from national to EU level.
It is undisputable that the EU and the Member States have to work together to ensure that the Customs Union makes the best possible contribution to EU prosperity and security. The creation of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office represents a major step in this direction. In addition, the challenges of VAT scams have revealed the need to reform our VAT systems to make them more resistant to fraud.
Such advances should nevertheless not overlap on the Member States’ competences in protecting their national revenues and in collecting their taxes. The implementation of the EU’s customs legislation is the responsibility of the Member States through the work of their national customs administrations. There are interdependences between national administrations that must be facilitated, but transferring the responsibilities of customs authorities from national to EU level would not help to clamp down fraud. A centralised EU system of customs would have adverse results, losing on national expertise and knowledge on the ground.