35th European Customs Law Conference in Mannheim

Juni 17, 2024

Once again this year, the European Forum for Foreign Trade (EFA) was hosting the European Customs Law Conference on the 13th and 14th of June 2024. „Artificial intelligence in foreign trade – possibilities and limits“ was the motto of this year’s „EFA Conference“, which took place in Mannheim. Prof. Dr. Wolffgang co-organized the event in his capacity as chairman of the advisory board of EFA European Forum for External Trade, Excise and Customs.

This year’s main topics included the possible applications of artificial intelligence in customs administration and foreign trade, practical experience with the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), the reform of the Union Customs Code and the associated ongoing digitalization of EU customs law, as well as an overview of „green taxes“.

In the morning of the 13th of June Dr. Lothar Harings, chairman of the executive board, welcomed the attendees of this years EFA Conference. After the welcome address, Harald Kröger (Board Member, President Automotive Business SiMa Technologies, San Francisco ) gave the opening lecture, in which he shed light on the latest development in artificial intelligence. The lecture was followed by an overwiev of the pending reform on the Union Customs Code by Philippe Duponteil (Director for Digital Delivery, Directorate General TAXUD, European Commission, Brussels) and Martin Blaesing (Head of Division III B 1, Federal Ministry of Finance, Berlin). After this, two discussion rounds under the direction of Prof. Dr. Sandra Rinnert and Frank Görtz were held on the usage and possibilites of AI in Customs adminstriations and Foreign Trade. To conclude the first day, Prof Dr Harald Jatzke  (Presiding Judge at the Federal Fiscal Court, Munich), Niko Liebheit (lawyer, Becker Büttner Held, Berlin), Jan Makurath (Head of Division DIV.A.3, Directorate IV, GZD, Bonn) and Dr. Dirk Jansen (Federal University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration, Münster) provided an overview of the latest case law in Electricity tax law.

The next day of the conference was opened with an short address by Kurt Van Dender (Acting Head of the Tax Policy and Statistics Division, OECD, Genf). He spoke about „Green Taxes – overview and environmental impact“. In the course of the day, Petra Heermann and Dr. Lothar Harings hosted discussions with various experts on the topics „Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) – Experiences from the practice“ and „Sustainability and human rights: New challenges for companies for companies (LkSG, EUDR, Forced Labour Ban)“. In this context, Prof. Wolffgang introduced the new EU-Regulation on prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market (COM (2022) 453 final 2022/0269 (COD)), which is still in the european legislative procress. Finally, Dr. Lothar Harings bid farewell to the participants with a closing statement.

Please click here for an complete overview of the discussed topics .