What are the programme’s main activities?
The financial support provided by the Anti-Fraud Information System (AFIS) contributes to the correct application of the law on customs and agricultural matters. It does this by: (i) providing tools for information exchange; and (ii) supporting mutual administrative assistance in customs and agricultural matters.
AFIS is an umbrella term for a set of anti-fraud IT applications operated by OLAF under a common technical infrastructure. The aim of these applications is to exchange fraud-related information between the competent national and EU administrations in a timely and secure manner. AFIS also helps to store and analyse relevant data. The AFIS Portal has more than 8 500 registered end-users in nearly 1 400 competent services. These users include Member States, non-EU partner countries, international organisations, the Commission, and other EU institutions. AFIS applications include:
- the Virtual Operations Coordination Unit (VOCU)
- a secure webmail service (AFIS Mail)
- the Customs Information System (CIS)
- the Customs Files Identification Database (FIDE)
- the Container Status Messages (CSM) directory
- the Import, Export and Transit (IET) directory
- the Automated Monitoring Tool (AMT)
- the Tobacco Seizures Management Application (TOSMA).
The main legal basis for the operation of the AFIS platform is Regulation (EC) No 515/97 on mutual administrative assistance in customs matters. The AFIS component of the UAFP will also cover the expenditure under Council Decision 2009/917/JHA, given that such expenditure is to be borne by the general budget of the EU.
What's new in this programme?
The types of costs that the UAFP may fund are mainly those incurred for the actions covered previously by Article 42(a) of Regulation (EC) No 515/97. Some adjustments have been introduced in the UAFP to allow both: (i) the reimbursement of expenses by representatives of non-EU countries participating in operational activities; and (ii) the reimbursement of participation in evaluation meetings following operational activities.
What does the annual work programme involve?
The first annual work programme, adopted in July 2021 (C/2021/5338), has a budget of EUR 24.05 million, of which EUR 7.96 million has been allocated to provide tools for information exchange and support for mutual administrative assistance in customs and agriculture.
OLAF will directly implement the budget. However, for technical assistance, coordination, and providing IT services for the Commission's Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD), the budget will be implemented jointly with DG TAXUD.
What type of actions are eligible?
For 2021, the main actions planned in mutual administrative assistance in customs and agriculture are set out below.
- IT studies, development and maintenance - The Commission will procure: (i) IT studies; and (ii) development and maintenance services. These studies and services will help the AFIS platform and its different applications to lend mutual assistance in customs matters.
- Production services - The Commission will procure production services (ICT infrastructure, application management, operations, and user support) for the AFIS platform applications to help provide mutual assistance in customs matters.
- Technical-assistance, training, coordination and quality-control services - The Commission will procure technical-assistance, training, coordination, and quality-control services. These services will be targeted at developing and operating the AFIS platform, to provide mutual assistance in customs matters, including joint customs operations. The Commission will also reimburse transport, accommodation, and daily-allowance costs to cover the participation of experts from national administrations in meetings, conferences, workshops, training courses, or other events related to the areas specified above.
- Technical assistance, coordination and providing IT services for DG TAXUD - Article 18(d) of Regulation (EC) No 515/97 requires import, export and transit data in the ‘Import Export and Transit’ (IET) directory to be replicated systematically from information systems operated by DG TAXUD. DG TAXUD will provide technical assistance, coordination, and IT services to replicate its data in the IET directory.
- Use and maintenance of the Common Communication Network (CCN) - OLAF will cover the costs arising out of the use by AFIS of the CCN operated by DG TAXUD. OLAF will also contribute to the maintenance of the CCN.
- Acquisition, maintenance and updating of various types of software, hardware and related IT services - The Commission will ensure procurement for the acquisition, maintenance and updating of various types of software, hardware and related IT services for the AFIS programme. These include:
- development tools
- testing tools
- support tools
- security tools
- database-system tools
- servers and storage equipment
- telecommunications equipment and lines
- testing equipment
- security equipment
- other relevant software, hardware and related IT services.