you're reading...
Economic and Social Policies, PUBLICATIONS

Understanding the EU customs union [Policy Podcast]

Written by Cemal Karakas,

Page of paper with words Customs Clearance and glasses.

© designer491 / Fotolia

In December 2016, the European Commission adopted its long-term plan to strengthen the governance and management of the EU customs union. The customs union, in place since 1968, is a pillar of the single market, and vital to the free flow of goods and services. According to the Commission, a strong customs system helps foster competitive businesses, increases wealth, and also protects against terrorist, health, and environmental threats.

The customs union operates under the legal framework of the Union Customs Code (UCC), in force since May 2016. However, while customs rules are the same across the EU, national customs authorities do not always apply them in a consistent manner. The Commission has therefore proposed structural and administrative changes, inter alia, on customs policy monitoring, formulation, and implementation. In addition, the Commission proposes to tackle administrative issues (e.g. application of EU law, competency building for custom officials, aligning new EU-wide IT systems dedicated to customs procedures), and border management coordination.

The European Parliament is critical of the differences between customs systems at the national level, in particular regarding customs duties and customs clearance, since these create fragmentation, additional administrative burdens (in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises), and hamper e-commerce. The Parliament suggests, among other things, the creation of more uniform electronic customs requirements and risk-assessment programmes. Parliament has also called on the Commission to present an interim report evaluating EU customs policy by 2017, including a review of the problems, overlaps, gaps, and complaints filed with customs authorities, and customs infringements.

Read the complete briefing on ‘Understanding the EU customs union‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Listen to podcast ‘Understanding the EU customs union


2 thoughts on “Understanding the EU customs union [Policy Podcast]

  1. This assessment is the result of interest in customs issues from the point of view of statistics, legislation and press releases of the EC.

    I will allow myself to sharpen my view of the customs union, it is a concurrence of interest and a 27-year practice of a customs officer who worked on strategic estimations of development in the customs union.

    Uvedené vyhodnotenie je výsledkom záujmu o colnú problematiku z pohľadu štatistík, legislatívy a tlačových správ EK.

    Ja si dovolím predostrieť môj pohľad na colnú úniu, je to súbeh záujmu a 27 ročnej praxe colného úradníka, ktorý pracoval na strategických odhadoch vývoja v colnej únii.

    Colná únia v Európskej únii – The customs union in the European Union –

    Lisabonská zmluva (2007/C 306/01) – Consolidated versions of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union –

    Investments versus VAT – Investície verzus DPH

    PRESIDENT JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER’S State of the Union Address 2017 – PREDSEDA JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER Správa o stave Únie 2017

    VAT Gap – Zdaňovanie a Colná únia

    Posted by Miroslav Jurčo | November 14, 2017, 09:20


  1. Pingback: Brexit Highlights 25 September – 1 October 2017 | Middle Temple Library Blog - October 2, 2017

Leave a Reply

Download the EPRS App

EPRS App on Google Play
EPRS App on App Store
What Europe Does For You
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Follow Blog via Email

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,539 other subscribers

RSS Link to Members’ Research Service

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy.

For a comprehensive description of our cookie and data protection policies, please visit Terms and Conditions page.

Copyright © European Union, 2014-2019. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: