The informal meeting of the Working Party on Customs Union was held on 17 May 2018 in the resort complex of Albena. This working party deals with matters relating to the EU customs legislation, but also coordinates customs relations with non-EU countries.
The European Commission presented the final report on the EU Customs Action Plan to combat intellectual property rights (IPR) infringements in the years 2013-2017 and underlined the role of cooperation, including on an international level. A recommendation was made to further develop activities like IPR risk management, shared use of analytical findings and operational achievements, etc.
The European Commission also recognised the good progress in the development of the EU Customs Union and its governance. Special mention was made of the EU Customs Union Performance project of the European Commission. It is perceived to be one of the core elements of the Customs Union Governance and is used to lay down the guidelines for both the political and operational dimensions. This topic will be a main priority for the Austrian Presidency, during which the EC will present its biennial report.
From a national perspective, the National Customs Agency of the Republic of Bulgaria presented the implementation of the EU Customs Competency Framework that sets the EU-wide standards in the field of human resources management and training. This framework was established by the European Commission as an instrument in support of the correct and uniform application of the customs legislation across all Member States. In addition to the fact that the National Customs Agency ranks among the top four customs administrations to have introduced and applied these standards, the implementation of the Competency Framework was nationally selected as a best public sector practice.