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Architectures and organizations, big data and data analytics for customs risk management of the international goods supply chain trade movements
Deadline: Aug 24, 2017  

 International Cooperation
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Effective management of risks in the international supply chain is crucial to ensuring the security (and safety) of EU residents, the protection of the financial and economic interests of the EU, while at the same time facilitating legitimate trade. The "EU Strategy and Action Plan for customs risk management" (COM (2014) 527 final) Communication of the Commission drafts a strategy and an action plan for improving customs risk management and supply chain security. It identifies the need for customs and other competent authorities to acquire quality data on supply chain movements, to exploit them for risk assessment purposes, and to consequently adapt organizations and strategies for checks to make more efficient.


Risk management of the movement of goods through the international supply chain requires identifying, evaluating and analysing the full range of largely diverse threats and risks associated with goods and their movements, at the EU, national, and intercontinental levels. It starts with the identification, by the custom authorities themselves, of the most serious risks, so that necessary controls are carried out at the most appropriate time and place.

Strategies and tools are needed for the timely submission to customs authorities of relevant high-quality and comprehensive data on goods moving and crossing borders, whilst taking into consideration the national and EU legal, procedural and IT systems where they exist. Realistic methodologies and organisations need to develop, that facilitate collaboration among the relevant authorities (not only customs but also law enforcement, transport, security and border control agencies). Data governance policies and mechanisms for data sharing need to be agreed internationally.

Common repositories that take advantage of existing instruments such as the Advance Cargo Information System (advance electronic notification of cargo coming into EU before it leaves the third country) which are under-utilised and under-exploited for risk management purpose, can support the intelligent use and management of complex and large amount of data, exploiting unstructured data, supporting operational and situational awareness of customs authorities, adding intelligence (trends analysis, correlation analysis, etc.) by means of state-of-the-art technologies including in the fields of Big Data, Data Analytics, Data mining, Visualization, Intelligent User's Interfaces, Insight knowledge and knowledge representation, artificial intelligence, automatic language translation. The governance of access to such repositories need to be addressed.

In line with the EU's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation[[COM(2012)497]] international cooperation is encouraged, and in particular with international research partners involved in ongoing discussions and workshops, with the European Commission. Legal entities established in countries not listed in General Annex A and international organisations will be eligible for funding only when the Commission deems participation of the entity essential for carrying out the action.

Indicative budget: The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of € 5million would allow for this topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • Contribution to the implementation of the EU strategy and action plan for customs Risk management (COM (2014)527) endorsed by the Council in December 2014, and an integral part of the European Agenda for Security.
  • Proposals for making better use of additional Advance Cargo Information (ACI) – currently being discussed as part of a supplementary Delegated Regulation to EU Reg 952/2013 (in relation to the Union Customs Code);
  • Reduction of terrorist threats; illicit trading of arms; illicit trading, in general, and counterfeiting; drug trafficking; illegal border crossing; trafficking in human beings; smuggling;
  • Mitigation of risks resulting from capacity shortages in some Member States, by addressing risks in a transnational manner;
  • More effective and efficient information sharing among customs within Europe, as well as between customs, security and law enforcement agencies within individual countries, with a view to improving checks at the external border of the relevant European areas;
  • Cost-effective solutions to complement national action;
  • Specifications of a common external interface supporting a commonly agreed access governance.

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