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European Union Customs Union

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

European Union Customs Union

  EU member states   Non-EU states which participate in the customs union, or are in bilateral customs unions with the EU
  Non-EU states which participate in the customs union, or are in bilateral customs unions with the EU
Policy of European Union
TypeCustoms union
• Total
5,200,000 km2 (2,000,000 sq mi)
• 2014 estimate
GDP (PPP)2014 estimate
• Total
$19.6 trillion
GDP (nominal)2014 estimate
• Total
$19.2 trillion
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The European Union Customs Union (EUCU) is a customs union which consists of all the member states of the European Union (EU), Monaco, the United Kingdom, and some dependencies of the United Kingdom which were not part of the EU.[a] Some detached territories of EU members do not participate in the customs union, usually as a result of their geographic separation.[b] In addition to the EUCU, the EU is in customs unions with Andorra, San Marino, and Turkey (with the exceptions of certain goods),[c] through separate bilateral agreements.[2]

The customs union is a principal component of the European Union, since its establishment in 1958 as the European Economic Community. There are no tariffs or non-tariff barriers to trade between members of the customs union and – unlike a free trade area – members of the customs union impose a common external tariff on all goods entering the union.[3]

The European Commission negotiates for and on behalf of the Union as a whole in international trade deals (such as that with Canada and many others), rather than each member state negotiating individually. It also represents the Union in the World Trade Organization and any trade disputes mediated through it.

During the Brexit transition period the United Kingdom continues to function as a part of the Customs Union. As of February 2020, the United Kingdom's relationship with the European Union after the end of the transition period remains to be negotiated.

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Non-EU participants

Monaco, the United Kingdom*, and the British dependencies of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey are integral parts of the EU's customs territory.[2]

State / territory Agreement Entry into force Notes
Monaco Franco-Monegasque Customs Convention[4][5] 1963
United Kingdom
And The United Kingdom in respect of  Akrotiri and Dhekelia,
and the  Isle of Man,
and  Jersey and Guernsey Guernsey
During the Brexit Transition Period, the United Kingdom (and the Associated Territories) will continue to function as a part of the European Union Customs Union until (by default) 31 December 2020. 1 February 2020 Ends on 31 December 2020
(by default)

Bilateral customs unions

Andorra, San Marino and Turkey, a candidate for EU membership, are each in a customs union with the EU.[2]

State Agreement Entry into force Notes
Andorra Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Economic Community and the Principality of Andorra – Joint Declarations[6] 1 January 1991 Excludes agricultural products
San Marino Agreement on Cooperation and Customs Union between the European Economic Community and the Republic of San Marino[7] 16 December 1991
Turkey Decision No 1/95 of the EC-Turkey Association Council of 22 December 1995 on implementing the final phase of the European Union–Turkey Customs Union[8] 31 December 1995 Excludes agricultural products

EU territories with an opt-out

While all EU member states are part of the customs union, not all of their respective territories participate. Territories of member states which have remained outside of the EU (overseas territories of the European Union) generally do not participate in the customs union.[9]

However, some territories within the EU do not participate in the customs union:

The following are not listed in Regulation 952/2013 but may be non-participant in some aspects for other reasons:

Union Customs Code

The Union Customs Code (UCC), intended to modernise customs procedures, entered into force on 1 May 2016.[12] Implementation will take place over a period of time and full implementation is anticipated by 31 December 2020 at the latest.[13] The European Commission has stated that the aims of the UCC are simplicity, service and speed.

Common external tariffs

The EU Customs Union sets the tariff rates for imports to the EU from other countries. These rates are detailed and depend on the specific type of product imported, and can also vary by the time of year.[14] The full WTO Most Favoured Nation tariff rates apply only to those countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, or are not on a WTO recognised exemption scheme such as Everything but Arms (an EU support arrangement for Least Developed Countries).

See also


  1. ^ Akrotiri and Dhekelia, a British Overseas Territory; and the British Crown dependencies: Bailiwick of Guernsey, Bailiwick of Jersey, and the Isle of Man.[1]
  2. ^ For example, exclaves of Germany and Italy within Switzerland, some Spanish and Portuguese islands.
  3. ^ See European Union–Turkey Customs Union.


  1. ^ FAQ: Customs, Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Customs unions, Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  3. ^ Erskine, Daniel H (2006). "The United States-EC Dispute Over Customs Matters: Trade Facilitation, Customs Unions, and the Meaning of WTO Obligations". Florida Journal of International Law. 18: 432–485.
  4. ^ "Taxation and Customs – FAQ". European Commission. Archived from the original on 8 June 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 of 12 October 1992 establishing the Community Customs Code". Official Journal of the European Union. 19 October 1992. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Andorra: Customs Unions and preferential arrangements". European Commission. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Agreement on Cooperation and Customs Union between the European Economic Community and the Republic of San Marino".
  8. ^ "Decision No 1/95 of the EC-Turkey Association Council of 22 December 1995 on implementing the final phase of the Customs Union" (PDF).
  9. ^ a b Territorial status of EU countries and certain territories – European Commission, retrieved 18 December 2018
  10. ^ a b c d Article 6 of Council Directive 2006/112/EC, 28 November 2006
  11. ^ a b c "REGULATION (EU) No 952/2013 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 9 October 2013 laying down the Union Customs Code, Article 4" (PDF). EURLEX. October 2013. p. 11. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Union Customs Code – Taxation and customs union – European Commission". Taxation and customs union.
  13. ^ UCC: an Introduction, accessed 29 January 2017
  14. ^ Taric and Quota Data & Information  – European Commission Communication and Information Resource Centre for Administrations, Businesses and Citizens.

External links

This page was last edited on 11 February 2020, at 16:52
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