European Commission

The Customs and Tax EU Learning Portal

Brussels (BE), May 2021 - Tax and customs play a vital role in their societies and in the functioning of the EU's single market by ensuring efficient revenue collection, the prosperity of businesses, and the safety and security of the EU internal market, as well as by facilitating trade relations. Customs and tax professionals and their administrations and enterprises must all respond to and anticipate change to remain effective in a constantly evolving social, political, and economic global context. Only through continuous development and strategic investment in skills and competencies of professionals and organisational innovation can they build relevant and sustainable customs and tax practices.

For years, the European Commission has been providing competency-based development and training to national tax and customs administrations and their staffs, as well as to private-sector professionals and other citizens where possible. The learning and development solutions are tailored to meet the specific professional requirements of people who need to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances, and over the past five years, more than two million customs and tax professionals have participated in such EU trainings.

Now, the Customs and Tax EU learning portal represents a significant addition to the organisation’s range of education and training materials about customs and tax topics, offering opportunities for customs and tax professionals to build, upscale, and share profession-relevant knowledge and expertise. This occurs through initiatives ranging from educational online learning to the organisation and hosting of multiple learning events in online and presence formats. Capitalising on the opportunities inherent in online learning, Customs and Tax EU learning portal aims to build common expertise and improve professional skills among tax and customs professionals across the EU.

A key advantage of online learning is the opportunities it provides for collaboration and establishing connections with experts and colleagues across borders, laying the foundation for a more connected and engaging learning experience. This, in turn, fosters transfer of knowledge and skills beyond the boundaries of individual national administrations and enterprises. Whilst facing customs and tax from different stakeholder perspectives, all involved in the process face common challenges.

Fraud and tax avoidance, compliance shortcomings, complexity of legislation and control processes, as well as modernisation requirements in the field are key issues to be addressed, and they are made more complex by ongoing technological and environmental developments, as well as the fact that their economy is becoming more global, digital, and mobile - all at the same time.

In light of these shared challenges, the Customs and Tax EU learning portal will promote collaboration and the sharing of information and skills among customs and tax professionals, national administrations, trade, and academia, in order to create a competitive advantage throughout Europe and to optimise training experiences.

The overall aim of the customs and tax-specific training events available on the Portal is to help build individual, national, and cross-country knowledge, skills, and expertise. Relying on a combination of different learning formats - from self-paced learning and development to interactive exchanges of best practices - they modernise customs and tax competencies by providing a new way to share experience and develop knowledge.