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Police/customs agreements in the fight against drugs

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Police/customs agreements in the fight against drugs

The aim of this resolution is to promote and ensure a high level of liaison and cooperation between agencies in order to facilitate effective and efficient drug law enforcement.


Council Resolution of 29 November 1996 on the drawing up of police/customs agreements in the fight against drugs [Official Journal C 375 of 12.12.1996].


To emphasise the need for a close working relationship between police forces and customs services, define their respective roles in the context of drug law enforcement activities and enable them to work together more effectively, the Council urges Member States to establish national legislative, regulatory and administrative provisions.

Agreements or other arrangements between police and customs services may contain, but need not be limited to, provisions in respect of the following matters:

  • the precise delineation of, and respect for, the competences of each of the two services, including responsibility for drug seizure and related evidence, questioning and detention of suspects, investigation and, where applicable, prosecution;
  • exchange and sharing of relevant intelligence information;
  • exchange of descriptions of drug traffickers' modus operandi;
  • exchange of information on the application of risk analysis techniques;
  • exchange of liaison officers at headquarters level of the two services with a view to building up mutual trust and confidence;
  • putting in place close liaison arrangements at local level;
  • joint agreed press statements;
  • joint police-customs task forces, where appropriate, for intelligence and/or investigation purposes;
  • agreed police-customs procedures for operational matters involving both agencies and, where appropriate:
  • joint police-customs mobile patrol squads;
  • joint police-customs training programmes;
  • sharing of equipment by police and customs.

The agreements or arrangements referred to in the resolution may also be extended to include law enforcement agencies other than police and customs.


Council Decision 2005/681/JHA of 20 September 2005 establishing the European Police College (CEPOL) and repealing Decision 2000/820/JHA [Official Journal L 256 of 1.10.2005].

The European Police College (CEPOL) is a cooperation network linking national training institutes for senior police officers. Its objective is to develop a common approach to the issues of crime prevention and the fight against crime through training, the setting-up of harmonised programmes and dissemination of best practice.

The EU drugs action plan (2005-2008) [Official Journal C168 of 8.7.2005].

The action plan sets out guiding principles to help Member States establish their priorities for combating drugs . The guidelines are based on five specific areas of action: coordination, reduction in demand, reduction in supply, international cooperation and information, and research and assessment.

Note from the Council of 22 November 2004 on the EU Drugs Strategy for the period 2005-2012 [15074/04 - not published in the Official Journal].

The main aim of the EU Drugs Strategy is to attain a high level of health protection and well-being by complementing the Member States' action in preventing and reducing drug use and drug dependence.

Council Resolution of 17 December 2003 on training for drug law enforcement officers [Official Journal C 38 of 12.2.2004].

This resolution highlights the need to ensure greater alignment of training tools and methods for the training of drug law enforcement officers in the Member States. The Council urges the Member States to adapt their training to the constant changes in action on drugs and to exchange know-how and best practices.

Council Recommendation 2012/C 402/01 EU Drugs Strategy (2013-2020) [Official Journal C 402 of 29.12.2012]

This Strategy provides the overarching political framework and priorities for EU drugs policy identified by EU countries and institutions for the period 2013-20. The framework, aim and objectives of this Strategy will serve as a basis for two consecutive 4-year EU Drugs Action plans.

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol) and repealing Decisions 2009/371/JHA and 2005/681/JHA. [ COM(2013)173 final of 27.03.2013].

The European Police Office (EUROPOL) provides support to national law enforcement services’ action and their mutual cooperation in the prevention of and fight against serious crime and terrorism.

The European Police College (CEPOL) was set up in 2005, in charge of activities related to the training of law enforcement officers. It aims to facilitate cooperation between national police forces by organising courses with a European policing dimension. To achieve economies of scale and given the overlapping interests and tasks of these two Community agencies, it is proposed that they should be merged.

Council conclusions on setting the EU’s priorities for the fight against serious and organised crime between 2014 and 2017. A multidisciplinary approach in which the cooperation between law enforcement agencies against drug trafficking is foreseen.

Last updated: 08.04.2014