Expert Group on Customs Cooperation and Border-Crossing Aspects

The Group was discontinued in June 2011. The Group was established following the decision of the Directors General of Customs Administrations of the Baltic Sea Region, according to the Final Declaration of the Fifth Baltic Sea Customs Conference held in Riga in October 2003, and conclusion from the meeting of Directors General of 1 June 2004 in Helsinki, with the support of the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

The EG continues Baltic Sea customs cooperation, on the basis of the legislation in force in the countries concerned, in the following main fields:

  • Harmonization of the customs administrative procedures in the logistic chain, both at the border crossing points and at the final places of destination for goods transported in the Baltic Sea Area.
  • Improvement of regional border-crossing cooperation of all services involved in border operations, with a view to meet maximum 2 hour border crossing objective formulated in the Bergen Declaration and reiterated in the Moscow Action Plan, thereby ensuring a smooth trade in goods in the Baltic Sea Area.
  • Monitoring of customs control and controls of other trade related measures in order to ensure that they are well -coordinated, relevant, selective and based on available information and results of risk assessment.
  • Ensuring standardized information on customs and border clearance requirements to trade and transport operators.

Working Group on Economic Cooperation (1993-2009)

 The WGEC was tasked to identify fields of regional economic cooperation in which the CBSS played a "value-added" role either by mobilising the necessary political will to foster concrete projects, by contributing to a better utilisation of resources and by assisting in the coordination of national and regional inputs. The WGEC was guided by two basic documents adopted by the Ministers in charge of Trade and Economy  – the Bergen Action Plan (2000) and the Moscow Action Plan (2002).

The WGEC aimed to develop overall frameworks for trade and investment as well as to increase cross-border business cooperation. Important issues included the following: improving border-crossing conditions for goods; facilitating a favourable business environment for SMEs, including the promotion of entrepreneurship; assisting the fight against corruption; creation of a Joint Investment Area; business development in Kaliningrad Oblast; implementation of the Northern Dimension Action Plan.

Following acknowledgement on the results achieved by the WGEC at the 15th Ministerial Session in Elsinore, Denmark 4 June 2009 the group has now been dissolved in accordance with the Reform Declaration.



Ad-hoc Working Group on Transport (2001-2006)

The Ad-Hoc Working Group on Transport (WGT) was established by a decision of the 4th CBSS Ministers of Transport conference, in 2001 in Gdansk, Poland and was mandated to oversee implementation of the Gdansk Declaration.

The composition of the Group included representatives from ministries of transport of the CBSS Member States and the European Commission. According to the Gdansk Declaration, the following fields of co-operation in transport were deemed important: implementation of sustainable development of transport in the Baltic Sea region; extension and upgrading of transport corridors situated in the Baltic Sea region and linking the Region with the rest of Europe; evaluation of other initiatives to update the Pan-European corridors; development of shipping and, in particular, short-sea shipping; development and implementation of new technologies; development of inter-modal transport in the region.

During its meeting in Warsaw in April 2006, the activities of the Ad-Hoc Working Group were suspended.


Baltic Sea Customs Cooperation (1995-2003)

The Baltic Sea customs cooperation was initiated at a meeting in Bornholm, Denmark, in 1995. This was motivated by the conviction that modern, reliable and honest customs administrations are as needed for promoting trade and economic growth in the Baltic Sea States as they are for collecting duties, tackling fraud and protecting the general public.

The 3rd Baltic Sea Customs Conference in Gdansk, Poland, in 1999 decided to further improve the performance of customs administrations in the Baltic Sea States. To achieve this objective, experts agreed on the following goals: to speed up and simplify cross-border trade so that goods crossing the Member States' borders would take a maximum of two hours to clear all formalities; to provide traders with up-to-date information on customs rules and contact points; to make life easier for legitimate traders by focusing frontier and inland customs controls on irregular and illegal movements of goods; to enhance the confidence in the work of customs officials by measures aimed at improving integrity.

Following a decision of the 5th Baltic Sea Customs Conference in Riga, Latvia (24 October 2003), the work within this forum has come to an end. Fruitful cooperation for mutual development between the Customs administrations of the Baltic sea area will continue and the member states of the Baltic Sea Region are now looking forward to continue their collaboration within the CBSS framework.


Senior Officials on Information Society (2001-2005)

The Senior Officials on Information Society (SOIS) was established after an endorsement of the Northern eDimension Action Plan (NeDAP) at the CBSS Ministerial Meeting on Information Society in Riga in September 2001. SOIS was mandated to coordinate the implementation of the NeDAP.

The SOIS reported to the ministers responsible for Information Communication Technology (ICT) and a chair country was selected every year that had the responsibility to liaise with the CBSS Committee of Senior Officals and other relevant bodies.

The purpose of the SOIS was to initiate and supervise the implementation for each of the seven action lines of the NeDAP. For every action line a lead-country was appointed who had the mandate to invite relevant experts and representatives of other organisations, including business enterprises to participate in the implementation of the action-line. The CBSS Secretariat serviced the SOIS on an ad-hoc basis, as agreed with the SOIS chair-country.

Action lines:

  • High speed research networks and advanced broadband applications (lead country – Norway)
  • ICT Security (lead country – Estonia)
  • eSkills (lead country – Finland and Germany)
  • eCommerce (lead country – Russia)
  • eGovernment (lead country – Sweden)
  • Indicators (lead country – Denmark)
  • eEnvironment (lead organisation - Grid Arendal)