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Virtual Customs Office
Institution: Swedish Customs Service
Theme: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Implementation Date: Oct 08, 2005
Summary: The profession of customs officer is one of the longest-established professions in the world, full of traditions and values.

However, the world continuously moves on and so must European customs administrations in order to keep up with demands and adopt the working methods and levels of service delivery expected in the twenty-first century.

This challenge must be taken seriously, especially by countries such as Sweden that are dependent on foreign trade and hence where customs is big business.

Increased service levels and trade facilitation have been on the agenda of the Swedish Customs Service for years, resulting in, among other things, sophisticated automated risk-analysis and certification of compliant operators (The Stairway®).

The overall objective of this project was to provide a virtual customs office on the Internet, offering a high level of service available 24 hours a day year-round. Each client was to receive the same level of service regardless of the enquiry or transaction being performed.

The Customs Offices mapped the range of transactions and developed bundles of services targeting the needs of the customers.
Impact: The project has been successfully implemented, with the result that the virtual customs office contains a number of integrated, interdepartmental e-services adding value to the overall foreign trade process for the Swedish business community.

It has demonstrated a high level of innovation, with more than one hundred e-services available. In addition, Swedish competitiveness is enhanced by the delivery of the service in a range of languages (currently ten).

The project has also increased openness and transparency and has put in place mechanisms for feedback on, or complaints about, any of the services provided.

The Swedish Customs Service offers customers free supportive Web services for customs business in order to facilitate day-to-day work and to strengthen Swedish competitiveness through the Virtual Customs Office.

The result is an increase in quality and efficiency while decreasing the costs of compliance. Smart mobile solutions with a high degree of scalability and a good cost-benefit ratio will make Europe a strong global economy with a bright future.
Source: European (Europa)
Project Home URL: http://www.customs-vip.info/
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