Italian Customs Agency hosts conference on customs faciliation for maritime transport
On 8 July, the Italian Customs Agency organised a conference in Rome to exchange views on how advanced customs procedures could support the integration of maritime transport in the logistics chain. As the Director General of the Commission’s Mobility and Transport Directorate-General (DG MOVE) José Anselmo reminded particpants, tackling these issues is important because of the crucial role played by customs, phytosationary, and vetenary agencies in achieving a truly secure transport chain.
The world is changing and this affects transport and customs. In a keynote speech, Italian Vice Minister for Economy and Finance Paola De Micheli stressed that administrations should keep adapting themselves to ongoing changes in order to fulfil their duties. Moreover, President of La Spezia Port Authority Lorenzo Forcieri believed that reforms are important for the port sector to increase competitiveness.
Overall, speakers identified fragmentation as the main challenge of customs today. Therefore, there was a call for a more comprehensive and coherent legislative framework in the field of customs, including by more cooperation at EU level and a unification of National Single Windows (NSWs). The EU has obliged Member States to set up NSWs, which need to serve as a one stop shop for international traders to electronically report all required information. However, representatives from the Commission’s Taxation and Customs Union Directorate-General (DG TAXUD) highlighted the challenge of combining all the national and regional approaches.
To provide participants with solutions on how to overcome custom related challenges, a number of custom’s projects were presented. For example, the WiderMoS project aimed to improve information management and customs procedures through the development of Corridor Management Platforms and Corridor Information Pipelines. Other projects presented included the Banchina lunghissima project, eSeals, and the ANNA project.
In addition, the Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Dutch customs agencies explained how they have developed their NSWs and shared some of their best practices. Noteworthy, the opportunities resulting from the NSWs have been recognised by other transport modes. For example, Peter van Dueren from the Dutch customs agency explained that Schiphol airport had called for an aviation single window.
The event was kindly hosted by the Italian Customs Agency and will support the ongoing work of the WiderMoS project in identifying custom’s obstacles and solutions. For more information on the work of the WiderMoS project, please click here. WiderMoS is a EU-cofunded project and stands for Wide Interoperability and new governance moDels for freight Exchange linking Regions through Multimodal maritime based cOrridorS.