Digital economy and globalisation have radically changed the way how companies and consumers buy and sell goods. Web stores, online payment services, and global delivery services allow consumers to order goods from all around the world with just a few clicks on their web browsers. In the wake of booming e-commerce, customs worldwide have witnessed a significant increase in the numbers of international parcels. As a result, customs have recognised the need to rethink their conventional enforcement roles and strategies in the parcel domain. This PEN-CP annual study presents concepts and solutions customs can adopt to cope with the challenges presented by contemporary cross-border parcel logistics.
Risk-based and data-driven approaches to customs operations have formed the foundation of customs control activities in Europe since many years. Risk-based controls allow customs to focus on high-risk traffic, facilitate low-risk traffic, and this way oversee cross-border trade without disrupting the flow of goods. Data, the number one commodity of digital customs, is the key enabler of risk-based controls: timely and accurate information on traders, goods, and modes of transport allows customs to target high-risk goods and to determine the most appropriate time, place and technique for controls.