The Customs Informa​tion System (CIS) is an information system which centralises customs information, allowing for a more efficient detecting and prosecuting of violations of customs and agricultural matters. With the CIS, national customs administr​ations can exchange 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.

 Council Decision 2009/917 JHA which replaced the CIS Convention, establishes the Joint Supervisory Authority (JSA) for Customs which is composed of two representatives of the data protection authorities of each Member State being a party to the Convention. The role of the JSA is to:

  • supervise the operation of the CIS;
  • examine any difficult​ies 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.

The applicable legal framework which is also complemented by Council Regulation 515/1997 EC and subsequent amendments introduced under Regulation 766/2008 EC, establishes that in order to address CIS related issues, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) should convene a meeting with national supervisory authorities at least on an annual basis. For such purposes, the Customs Information System Supervision Coordination Group (CIS SCG) was established. Since the roles of the JSA Customs and the CIS SCG are interrelated, the two groups also coordinate common activities to ensure a consistent approach. ​ 

Guide on exercising the right of access

Individuals whose personal data are collected, held or otherwise processed as part of the CIS are entitled to data protection rights concerning such data, and in particular the right of access, correction of inaccurate data, and also the right to deletion of unlawfully stored data. These rights are afforded as specified under the legal framework establishing such system and may be exercised in accordance with the applicable national laws. The CIS SCG has developed a guide on exercising the right of access. The guide includes information on the CIS, it elaborates on the rights granted to data subjects under the legislative framework and also it provides a description of the procedure and modalities to exercise these rights in each of the countries concerned.

Click here to access or download the full document.  ​