Documents considered by the Committee on 21 July 2015 - European Scrutiny Contents


71 Customs risk management

Committee's assessment Politically important
Committee's decisionCleared from scrutiny
Document detailsCommission Communication on the EU Strategy and Action Plan for customs risk management: Tackling risks, strengthening supply chain security and facilitating trade
Legal base
DepartmentHM Revenue and Customs
Document Numbers(36288), 12644/14 + ADD 1, COM(14) 527

Summary and Committee's conclusions

71.1 In August 2014 the Commission presented in this Communication a strategy on customs risk management and supply chain security based on a step by step action plan. The Government is generally supportive of the strategy and action plan. The previous Committee said that, while it had no issue with the thrust of this Communication, it noted two concerns, about challenging timelines and about development of a central repository, the Government had drawn to its attention. So it asked to hear about any success with the Commission in mitigating these concerns, before the document could be cleared from scrutiny.

71.2 The Government tells us now that these two concerns have been addressed satisfactorily, so that it is now ready to support Council adoption of the text of the action plan.

71.3 Given these improvements to the action plan we now clear the document from scrutiny.

Full details of the document: Commission Communication on the EU Strategy and Action Plan for customs risk management: Tackling risks, strengthening supply chain security and facilitating trade: (36288), 12644/14 + ADD 1, COM(14) 527.

Background

71.4 In August 2014, following encouragement in June 2013 by the Council, the Commission presented in this Communication a strategy on customs risk management and supply chain security based on a step by step action plan and a cost benefit analysis. The Government is generally supportive of the strategy and action plan. However, it did express to the previous Committee two concerns, about challenging timelines and about development of a central repository.

71.5 The previous Committee said that, while it had no issue with the thrust of this Communication, it noted the concerns the Government had drawn to its attention. So it asked to hear from the Government about any success with the Commission in mitigating these concerns. Meanwhile the document remained under scrutiny.

The Minister's letter of 6 July 2015

71.6 The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (Damian Hinds) now tells us about a resolution of the two concerns the Government had. First, noting that the action plan set out an expectation for implementation in the period 2014-2020, he says that:

·  the Government was concerned that any calls to implement changes at the beginning of this range would be very challenging;

·  during further negotiations with the EU, officials have worked closely with other Member States which shared the UK's concerns to secure agreement to preserve a flexible delivery timetable which fully aligns with implementation plans for the new Union Customs Code;

·  this includes the introduction of an additional two year transitional period from May 2016 to May 2018;

·  given this the Government believes that the action plan now provides sufficient flexibility to enable the UK to meet the timetable for delivery; and

·  consequently, the Government can now support this text.

71.7 Secondly, the Minister says that the other main Government concern, in respect of the creation of a central data repository, was that it could extend to the creation of EU level performance measures and targets which could impact on Member States' ability to control their own resource deployment. He reports that:

·  officials have taken part in further negotiations on this matter, which have led to the adoption of a more flexible delivery model which provides Member States with the option of carrying out risk analysis within their own national systems rather than receiving results from a centrally performed risk analysis system;

·  this will therefore remain a matter of national competence and the UK will retain control over the deployment of its resources; and

·  as a result the Government is now able to support this text.

71.8 Making plain now what neither the Communication nor the Government's Explanatory Memorandum had revealed previously — that it is the Council's intention to formally adopt the text of the action plan, the Minister hopes that we are now able to clear the document from scrutiny, so that the Government can vote in favour of the text.

Previous Committee Report

Thirteenth Report 219-xiii (2014-15), chapter 17 (15 October 2014).


 
previous page contents next page


© Parliamentary copyright 2015
Prepared 30 July 2015