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Addetti dogane interview

Giuseppe Ciccarelli, Director of the Taranto Customs and Monopolies Office

The Excise, Customs and Monopolies Agency

My name is Giuseppe Ciccarelli, I have been the Director of the Taranto Customs Office since 15th November 2019.

The Customs and Monopolies Agency is a tax agency that deals with customs, i.e. the processes that are involved when goods are imported and exported, it deals with excise duties, which mainly concern fuels, alcohol, tobacco and other taxable sectors.

And then it is concerned with monopolies both regarding regulating gaming, and with tobacco and other related activities.

The agency seeks on the one hand to facilitate trade and commerce in legal goods, and on the other to prevent, counter and supress the trafficking of illegal goods.

The establishment of the Customs Free Zone

As soon as I took office, practically at the end of December, the 2020 Finance Act established the free customs zone within Taranto, which is particularly large, and since then there has been a high level of interaction with the Port System Authority, with the regional authorities, with our top management at both interregional and central level, and with the Financial Police to build the necessary solutions to agree firstly the delineation of this area, and subsequently on the regulatory framework for businesses.

A free zone is essentially an arrangement for simplifying customs legislation in order to, to put it very simply,

achieve the result of deferring the payment of customs duties.

For example, let’s consider a classic case of textiles: textile materials can be imported as yarns, they can be re-exported as finished packages and in the time it takes the business to transform this material from a raw material to a semi-finished product, to a finished product, during that time it does not pay customs duties, which are deferred until it decides what it is doing with the products.

So if they are exported, the business does not pay customs duties, but if it decides to sell them domestically or at EU level, it only obtains a deferral effect.

Additionally, there is also a correlation with other structures such as the Special Economic Zone they are two entities that, although different in terms of their purpose, nevertheless achieve an important stimulus effect,

a driving force for the development of a particularly important area such as the Ionian quadrant.

The business activities that benefit from the Customs services in the port

For those who don’t know the port of Taranto and for those who don’t know the city, as it was for me, the first impression you get is that of a structural gigantism.

As a Neapolitan, when I can go home, I take the road that also passes through Salerno, if you look at the port of Salerno from above, compared with the port of Taranto, it is practically a wedding favour compared to an entire china set at home.

What you can see is that it has been structured to meet international, I would say almost global, needs.

This port, and this customs, serves a range of businesses that are themselves also a one-off at national level.

To give you an idea, in addition to the steelworks we have the refinery: it is a very important facility.

That alone generated excise duty of €1.4 billion in 2019, and so it accounted for 4% of the total excise duty revenue at national level in the energy products sector.

We have the military facilities, so the Navy and everything that revolves around it, we have a very important industrial avionics plant that builds the nacelles for the biggest Boeings that exist in the world

and there there is an operation that continuously interfaces with customs; We have factories for the production of spirits; we have wineries, we have an important brewery, there are four main breweries in Italy and we have one of the largest here.

So there is a concentration of businesses that are very important in the economic context, not only nationally but also internationally, and who benefit from the services of the port of Taranto and the Taranto Customs.

The great challenge of contributing to the rebirth of the port

I am obviously happy and proud to be here at Taranto Customs House, and to be here at this time, because the opportunity to find yourself in a place that is being reborn, and to contribute to the rebirth is, I think, one of the greatest challenges that a person can face from a professional point of view.

And to be able to say, when this thing is reborn,that I have also given, along with all my colleagues, our contribution is an absolutely vital thing.


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