§ Mr. Jenkin
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures are being taken to counter the extra opportunities for smugglers as a result of EC measures which will make movement through EC countries easier.
§ Sir John Cope
[holding answer 3 November 1992]: It is a central objective of all changes to customs controls for the single market, that effectiveness against smuggling should be maintained. Following a thorough review of their anti-smuggling controls, customs have been creating new flexible anti-smuggling teams and important results have come from the risk-based targeting methods which they employ.
Customs are working with other enforcement agencies, trade associations and individual transport companies to sign memoranda of understanding under which they assist customs to detect drug smugglers who are using their facilities. Customs are also developing closer co-operation with our Community partners. They have signed maritime and aerial surveillance memoranda of understanding with France and Spain and are in the process of concluding one with the Netherlands. The fight against smugglers will be further assisted in the single market by the customs information system. This network, which I launched in October allows information to be exchanged electronically between all 12 member states.