European Union Customs Union

European Union Customs Union

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The European Union Customs Union is a customs union
Customs union
A customs union is a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with a common external tariff. The participant countries set up common external trade policy, but in some cases they use different import quotas...

 which consists of all the Member States of the European Union (EU) and a number of surrounding countries.

The customs union is a principal task of the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

, established in 1958, and now succeeded by the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. No customs
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

 are levied on goods travelling within the customs union and—unlike a free trade area
Free trade area
A free trade area is a trade bloc whose member countries have signed a free trade agreement , which eliminates tariffs, import quotas, and preferences on most goods and services traded between them. If people are also free to move between the countries, in addition to FTA, it would also be...

—members of the customs union impose a common external tariff
Common external tariff
When a group of countries form a customs union they must introduce a common external tariff. The same customs duties, import quotas, preferences or other non-tariff barriers to trade apply to all goods entering the area, regardless of which country within the area they are entering...

 on all goods entering the union. One of the consequences of the customs union is that the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 has to negotiate as a single entity in international trade deals such as the World Trade Organisation
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

.

Non-EU members


EU applicant Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and the three bordering microstates
Microstates and the European Union
There are a number of microstates in Europe; due to their size, they are often closely linked with another larger state. Currently, the European microstates have special relations with the European Union....

Andorra
Andorra
Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

, Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

, and San Marino
San Marino
San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino , is a state situated on the Italian Peninsula on the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. It is an enclave surrounded by Italy. Its size is just over with an estimated population of over 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino...

 — are in customs union with the EU.
State Agreement Date Notes
 Andorra Agreement between the EEC and Andorra 1991 Excludes agricultural products
 Monaco Franco-Monegasque Treaty
Franco-Monegasque Treaty
The Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861 granted sovereignty to Monaco. Previously, under the Treaty of Vienna it had been a protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia....

1958
 San Marino Co-operation and Customs Union Agreement 1991
 Turkey EU-Turkey Customs Union 1995 Excludes agricultural products

Territories


While all EU members are part of the customs union, not all of their respective territories form part of the customs union. This may be because a territory is not part of the EU, because the territories have opt-outs, or are excluded from the customs union because of their economic or geographic circumstances; see Special Member State territories and the European Union.

See also

  • European integration
    European integration
    European integration is the process of industrial, political, legal, economic integration of states wholly or partially in Europe...

  • Trade bloc
    Trade bloc
    A trade bloc is a type of intergovernmental agreement, often part of a regional intergovernmental organization, where regional barriers to trade, are reduced or eliminated among the participating states.-Description:...

  • European Customs Information Portal (ECIP)
    European Customs Information Portal (ECIP)
    The European Customs Information Portal is an importing and exporting service provided by the EU for business operators of its Member States.-European Customs Information Portal background:...