Customs 2013 is a programme which gives the national customs administrations of the EU, together with the European Commission, the opportunity to co-operate in areas of common and high interest. It runs from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2013 and provides a legal and financial base for:
- Reinforcing security and safety within the Community and at the external border;
- Strengthening the fight against fraud and protecting the financial and economic interests of the Community and Member States;
- Increasing the competitiveness of European business by speeding up customs procedures partially through the creation of a European paperless electronic customs environment.
Over the six years' lifespan of the programme the budget is 324 million euro. Candidate countries for accession to the European Union (EU) can participate in the programme, as well as potential candidate countries. Customs 2013 uses a range of tools such as the development and maintenance of the Community component of IT systems, working visits of officials, seminars, benchmarking, workshops, monitoring actions and project groups to achieve its objectives.