23 February 1996

ECfraud initiative

EUROPEAN Commission officials are calling for a new computerised customs system to cut down on agricultural fraud.

Officials want to stamp out falsified documents like false export refund claims. They say that products including beef are imported into the EU from Eastern Europe at zero duty then re-exported, with false certificates, to obtain export refunds.

The commission says that customs fraud over the past five years has cost more than £630m.

It wants the computer system in place by 1998.