The European Commission has confirmed a new €324 million ($415 million), six-year program to fight fraud and counterfeiting at the European Union's borders.

The European Commission has confirmed a new €324 million ($415 million), six-year program to fight fraud and counterfeiting at the European Union's borders.

The Commission's Customs 2013 program aims to tighten procedures and clamp down on smuggling of counterfeit products, including CDs, DVDs and software. It will protect copyrighted European products by strengthening border control procedures.

In addition, the program will seek to modernize the European customs system.

The Commission says the increased globalization of trade and of counterfeiting means it is imperative to ensure that customs procedures are both swift and efficient.

The proposal includes measures designed to make the electronic customs systems of different EU member states compatible with each other; introduce EU-wide electronic risk analysis and improve information exchange between frontier control authorities; make electronic declarations the rule; and introduce a centralized customs clearance arrangement.

The improvements should make customs control "better, faster and cheaper," EU tax commissioner László Kovács said. "The programs will actively contribute to enhance cooperation between tax and customs administrations," he said. "They will simplify and speed up procedures, facilitate legitimate trade, and support the fight against tax and customs fraud."

The proposal also suggests the setting up of an electronic "Single Window" whereby traders of proven trustworthiness -- "authorized importers" -- would only have to deal with one body instead of several frontier control authorities as happens at present.

The counterfeit goods trade in the EU is estimated to be worth around €400 billion ($512 billion) annually, with DVDs, CDs, and cassettes representing about a third of all items seized by EU authorities.

Thailand is currently the biggest supplier to Europe of the pirated, CDs, DVDs and cassettes during this period, the report found, accounting for 18% of the seizures, followed by Malaysia (14%), Pakistan (13%) and China (8%).