Customs Information System Joint Supervisory Authority

What is the Customs Information System?

The Customs Information System (CIS) was established under the Council Regulation of 13 March 1997.

The CIS is an information system which centralises all customs information, which allows for a more efficient detecting and prosecuting of violations of customs and agricultural matters. With the CIS national customs administrations can exchange information and spread information about illegal trafficking and intervention requests. The purpose of the CIS is to prevent, investigate and prosecute serious violations of national legislations by making the cooperation and oversight procedures of the customs administrations of Member States more efficient.

The CIS operates with two separate databases: one relates to actions taken by the European Community and the other relates to intergovernmental actions. The legal basis of the intergovernmental database, in particular the Convention on the use of information technology for customs purposes (CIS Convention) lays down the procedures to be followed when information technologies are used for customs purposes. The Convention sets out the major parameters for storing information, how information is corrected, the security systems and describes the data protection rules. 


IIs there any supervision of the personal data processed by the Customs Information System?

Article 18 established the Joint Supervisory Authority for the Customs Information Service. It is composed of two representatives of the data protection authorities of each Member State that signed this CIS convention. The Authority is part of it. 

The Joint Supervisory Authority for the CIS is competent to:

  • supervise the operation of the CIS;
  • examine any difficulties of application or interpretation which may arise during the system’s operation;
  • study problems that may arise when the system is in operation;
  • study problems which may arise with regard to the exercise of independent supervision by the national supervisory authorities of the Member States, or in the exercise of rights of access by individuals to the System and draw up proposals for the purpose of finding joint solutions to problems.