Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement
The European Union has also concluded partnership and cooperation agreements with a number of countries, including Russia and Ukraine, which cover customs cooperation and contain a mutual assistance protocol. The parties can, by mutual agreement, extend the scope of the agreement in order to complement areas of cooperation in certain areas: the European Community has formally extended the customs cooperation agreement with the United States through effective and effective control measures aimed at improving the security of transatlantic container shipping. The extension of the agreement of 22 April 2004 to cooperation in the areas of EXPERTS and related issues, which aim to strike the right balance between security and facilitation, shows that the possibility of extending the scope of the agreement is indeed necessary, as the area of customs cooperation and the role of customs continue to develop. It is possible to maintain existing bilateral agreements as long as they are not at odds with the Community`s competences and customs cooperation and mutual assistance agreements. The provisions of this agreement prevail over the provisions of a bilateral agreement on customs cooperation and mutual assistance that have been concluded or can be taken between the Member States and the contracting party, provided that the provisions of this agreement are incompatible with those provided by those agreements. The Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters (the “Convention”) obliges the competent authorities of the contracting parties to the Convention to agree on the scope of the automatic exchange of information and on the procedure to be followed. In this context, the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Exchange of CbC Reports (“CbC MCAA”) for automatic exchange of reports by country and the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (CRS MCAA) were developed for the automatic exchange of financial account information in accordance with the common reporting standard. In accordance with this policy, customs cooperation and mutual assistance agreements allow the parties to put in place the necessary instruments for customs cooperation. In the interest of global trade and international assistance in the fight against customs fraud, the European Union has signed agreements on customs cooperation and mutual assistance (Korea, Canada, Hong Kong, the United States, India, China and Japan).
Existing customs cooperation agreements also provide for the possibility of including a chapter on mutual assistance in customs matters, which defines the circumstances and modalities in which customs authorities can exchange information on customs violations and cases of fraud. The rules must be strictly enforced. In addition, data protection rules must be enforced and the confidentiality of the information must be preserved.