According to World Customs Organisation (WCO), at the invitation of Malta’s Presidency of EU and of the European Commission, Taxation and Customs Union Directorate-General, the WCO attended the High-Level Seminar on Strengthening of Cooperation between Customs and Tax Authorities.

strengthening of cooperation between customs and tax authorities

The event was hosted by the Government of Malta and counted with the participation of Directors General and senior officials of EU Customs and Tax Administrations and invited countries.

The Seminar was opened by the DG of Malta Customs, Mr Joseph Chetcuti, and by the Commissioner for Revenue of Malta, Mr Marvin Gaerty, and received inputs from the DG TAXUD, Mr Stephen Quest, and the Director Phillipe Kermod. The event also counted with the support from Academia that provided different perspectives and possible solutions for the challenges identified.

The WCO Director, Capacity Building, Ernani Checcucci delivered a speech on the importance of Customs and Tax Cooperation in the actual landscape and highlighted the fact that both Administrations face new challenges due to the rapid globalization of trade and financial systems, which brought new expectations from Government and societies in the fight of Illicit Financial Flows, organized crime, and Tax evasion. The Director highlighted the launch and promotion of the Guidelines for Strengthening Cooperation and the Exchange of Information between Customs and Tax Authorities at National Level, the discussions with G20 in the fight against Illicit Financial Flows, and the cooperation with OECD and IMF on relevant topics, such as Customs Valuation and Transfer pricing, Tax Transparency and Exchange of Information, e-commerce, and Performance Measurement.

The participants of the Seminar identified areas for cooperation; proposals for addressing legal gaps hindering efficiency; opportunities for increased facilitation of trade and compliance management; exchange of information and initiatives to combat Tax Fraud, particularly, the ones related to VAT.

Participants agreed to pursue this agenda and to promote more strategic discussions between Customs and Tax Authorities, at National, Regional and EU levels.

The WCO congratulated the organisers for addressing this important agenda and reinforced its commitment to continue working with the EU Members and Commission to identify and share good practices, guidelines, standards and to provide support in the development of Customs and Tax Cooperation.

By M.Hung