The Future of Customs in the EU 2040

This foresight project is developed in cooperation with the European Commission – Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD).


Preparing the EU customs system of the future

In 2018, the EU celebrated the 50th anniversary of its customs union. Looking back, the underlying logic of  EU customs procedures, processes and rules would look quite familiar to those who built it more than 50 years ago, although their tools and means of implementation changed drastically with the strong technological evolution and a shift in responsibilities. We are now facing an unprecedented speed, scale and diversity of change. Global trade is a fast evolving landscape. New trends, technologies, products and trade models and flows continuously create risks and opportunities that challenge the EU Customs ecosystem and its many stakeholders. These changes have multiple direct impacts across different policy areas (security, environment, trade, justice, migration etc.). The scale and speed of these developments call for increased anticipatory knowledge to make sure that the EU Customs ecosystem remains relevant and effective in the long-term.


Anticipation and strategic thinking around the future of EU customs

The overall aim of the project is to better understand trends and drivers impacting the EU Customs ecosystem and possible paths for how this system could develop by 2040. The project will empower policymakers and stakeholders to engage in strategic reflections and create the EU Customs ecosystem of the future.


A foresight exercise engaging all stakeholders

The project will rely on a series of 5 participatory workshops that will engage all key stakeholders and other relevant parties. The bespoke process will rely on a combination of tried and tested foresight techniques such as Real Time Delphi, Horizon Scanning and scenario building, and less classic design, visualization and engagement tools. By developing a set of scenarios and scenario exploration approaches, the project will enable participants to imagine how the EU customs ecosystem could look like in 2040 and engage in strategic discussions around future customs policies.

Dive into the final report and the Press Release
Explore the scenarios and the vision with our interactive videos
View blog posts for this project
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