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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Close cooperation between EU customs administrations (Naples II Convention)

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Close cooperation between EU customs administrations (Naples II Convention)

 

SUMMARY OF:

Convention on mutual assistance and cooperation between customs administrations

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE CONVENTION?

  • It replaces and strengthens the original Naples Convention agreed in 1967.
  • It covers mutual assistance and cooperation between national authorities in prevention, investigation and prosecution of certain infringements of European Union (EU) and national customs rules.

KEY POINTS

  • EU countries’ authorities need to cooperate with each other in order to successfully tackle customs fraud and transnational trafficking, and to prosecute and punish the offenders.
  • EU customs include agricultural levies, harmonised excise duties on alcohol, tobacco and mineral oil and turnover tax on imports from non-EU countries. The convention does not cover value added tax.
  • The convention applies to national customs rules including those relating to drugs, weapons and child pornography, as well as non-harmonised excise duties.
  • The convention considers ‘infringements’ in a broad sense, including attempted infringements and all forms of participation, such as instigation and being involved as an accessory, as well as association with a criminal organisation and money laundering.
  • Mutual assistance between customs authorities is given following a request for information, surveillance, enquiries or notification; or spontaneously, without prior request, including covert surveillance and spontaneous provision of information.
  • Requests are normally exchanged between the central coordinating units appointed within each national customs administration.
  • Requests are in principle made in writing, giving the reason for the request, the relevant facts and the rules and legislation involved. However, in emergency situations, oral requests are accepted but must be confirmed in writing as soon as possible.
  • Customs administrations must provide each other with the necessary staff and organisational support when cooperating on cross-border issues such as
    • hot pursuit — cross-border pursuit of suspects;
    • cross-border surveillance;
    • covert investigations;
    • joint special investigation teams; and
    • controlled deliveries — illicit deliveries which are not seized at the border, but are tracked to their final destination.
  • Cross-border cooperation focuses on illicit drugs, weapons, munitions, explosives, cultural goods, dangerous and toxic waste, nuclear materials and equipment for biological and chemical weapons.

Administrative cooperation in related areas

In addition to their cooperation under the Naples convention, EU countries’ authorities work closely on aspects as varied as excise duties, organised crime, money laundering, illicit drugs, weapons and shipments of waste. They also cooperate on ensuring there are no breaches in EU customs or agricultural legislation.

FROM WHEN DOES THE CONVENTION APPLY?

It has applied since 23 June 2009.

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Council Act of 18 December 1997 drawing up, on the basis of Article K3 of the Treaty on European Union, the Convention on mutual assistance and cooperation between customs administrations — Declarations (98/C 24/01) (OJ C 24, 23.1.1998, p. 1)

Convention drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, on mutual assistance and cooperation between customs administrations (OJ C 24, 23.1.1998, pp. 2–22)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Council Regulation (EC) No 515/97 of 13 March 1997 on mutual assistance between the administrative authorities of the Member States and cooperation between the latter and the Commission to ensure the correct application of the law on customs and agricultural matters (OJ L 82, 22.3.1997, pp. 1–16)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 515/97 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Explanatory Report on the Convention drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, on mutual assistance and cooperation between customs administrations (Text approved by the Council on 28 May 1998) (OJ C 189, 17.6.1998, pp. 1–18)

EU Strategy to combat illicit accumulation and trafficking of SALW and their ammunition, Council of the European Union, Brussels, 13 January 2006

Council Decision 2008/39/JHA of 6 December 2007 concerning the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Convention of 18 December 1997, drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, on mutual assistance and cooperation between customs administrations (OJ L 9, 12.1.2008, pp. 21–22)

Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on shipments of waste (OJ L 190, 12.7.2006, pp. 1–98)

See consolidated version

Council Regulation (EU) No 389/2012 of 2 May 2012 on administrative cooperation in the field of excise duties and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2073/2004 (OJ L 121, 8.5.2012, pp. 1–15)

See consolidated version

Council Decision (EU) 2016/979 of 20 May 2016 concerning the accession of Croatia to the Convention drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, on mutual assistance and cooperation between customs administrations (OJ L 161, 18.6.2016, pp. 35–36)

last update 14.11.2016

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