Table of Contents:


Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Customs


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.



The Customs Union, characterised by an absence of internal borders, is an essential foundation of the European Union (EU) which applies to all trade of goods (Article 28 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The customs duties on imports and exports, as well as charges having equivalent effect between Member States, are forbidden. At external borders, the Common Customs Tariff, along with the Integrated Tariff (TARIC), is applied to goods from third countries. Goods moving freely within the Union comply with the rules of the internal market and with certain provisions of the Common Commercial Policy. In addition, instruments such as the Community Customs Code ensure that Member States’ customs authorities apply the standards uniformly.

The Customs Union, initiated by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, was established on 1 July 1968. Its mechanisms have essentially evolved to adapt to new technologies and to ensure greater security, particularly with regard to protection against counterfeiting and piracy.


  • The contribution of taxation and customs policies to the Lisbon Strategy
  • Strategy for the evolution of the Customs Union
  • Strategy for the Customs Union
  • Customs 2013 (2008-2013)
  • Action programme: Customs 2007 (2003-2007)
  • The role of customs in the integrated management of external borders
  • Enhancing police and customs cooperation in the European Union
  • Customs response to latest trends in counterfeiting and piracy
  • European anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy plan
  • Money laundering: prevention through customs cooperation

Cooperation between customs administrations

  • Convention on the use of information technology for customs purposes (CIS)
  • CIS system
  • A simple and paperless environment for customs and trade
  • A paperless environment for Customs and Trade
  • Convention on mutual assistance and cooperation between customs administrations (Naples II)

Community statistics

  • External trade: statistics relating to non-member countries


Community customs code

  • Modernised Community Customs Code
  • Provisions implementing the Community Customs Code
  • Transport under the TIR or ATA procedure

Combined Nomenclature, Common Customs Tariff and Integrated Tariff

  • Combined Nomenclature, Common Customs Tariff and Integrated Tariff of the European Communities (Taric)

Customs checks and exemptions at internal and external borders

  • Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport
  • Elimination of controls and formalities applicable to baggage
  • Abolition of internal frontier controls for means of transport registered in a non-Community country
  • Exemptions for travellers
  • EU customs relief system
  • Community transit: action plan (1997)


  • Goods infringing intellectual property rights
  • Endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES)
  • FLEGT Licensing scheme
  • Detection technology in the work of law enforcement, customs and other security services

Military equipment

  • Suspension of import duties on certain weapons and military equipment
  • Abolition of customs formalities at internal frontier crossings for NATO military equipment


  • Police/customs agreements in the fight against drugs
  • Drug precursors: external aspects
  • Drug precursors: internal aspects


Agreement with third countries

  • Agreement with Canada
  • Agreement with China
  • Agreement with Hong Kong
  • Agreement with India
  • Agreement with the Republic of Korea
  • Container security: EU/US agreements
  • Customs Agreement with Japan

International conventions

  • Pan-Euro-Mediterranean system of cumulation of origin
  • International convention on the simplification and harmonisation of customs procedures
  • 1982 International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods
  • Convention on a common transit procedure


Ongoing Enlargement

  • Croatia – Internal market
  • Turkey – Internal market
  • The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Internal market
  • Iceland – Internal market

Enlargement of January 2007

  • Bulgari
  • Romania

Enlargement of May 2004

  • Cyprus
  • Estonia
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Poland
  • Czech Republic
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia

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