The evasion of duties on goods imported into the EU is financially damaging to legitimate industry and the EU taxpayer.
OLAF is responsible for investigating this increasingly sophisticated form of fraud in cooperation with national customs authorities both inside and outside the EU.
What's at stake?
The amounts of evaded import duty recovered in these sectors following OLAF investigations are significant: €76.5 million in 2013 and €33.9 million in 2012.
The cases are large and complex, often involving several thousand transactions and dozens of companies in several countries in and outside the EU. Evidence needs to be gathered from national and third country authorities, competent for trade and customs matters as well as other partners including port authorities and economic operators across the globe.
- Investigating the evasion of import duties (including conventional, anti-dumping and countervailing duties) on all types of commodities and goods – especially involving:
- false declarations of origin (in both preferential and non-preferential regimes)
- undervaluation & misdescription
- Detecting, preventing & investigating customs fraud that impacts the EU budget, in cooperation with national customs services and other partners both inside and outside the EU.
- Coordinating related investigations by national customs services of EU Member States.
- Coordinating national investigations by EU Member States into the diversion of drugs precursors.
- Defending the results of these investigations in administrative & judicial appeal proceedings within the Commission, before national courts and the European Court of Justice.
This includes ensuring (as far as possible) that national authorities take a consistent position in responding to appeals in OLAF customs cases.