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Taxation and Customs Union

EU Customs Union – unique in the world

Website banner 2022

A common tariff of customs duties is being used on imports from outside the EU and there are no customs duties levied at the borders between EU countries. Duty on goods from outside the EU is generally paid when they first enter the EU. From then on, there are no more customs duties to pay and no more customs checks will apply - all goods circulate freely within the EU Customs Union. 

The EU Customs Union is essential for the proper functioning of the single market. In practice, National customs services in all EU countries work together as one to manage the day-to-day operations of the Customs Union. The European Commission proposes the EU customs legislation and monitors its implementation.

The EU is one of the largest trading blocs in the world.

The EU is one of the largest trading blocs in the world, alongside the United States and China.

To manage the huge volume of international trade in 2022, almost 1 900 EU customs offices (2045 offices of which 175 appear inactive, hence we calculate 1870 offices for 2022), working 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, handled the import, export and transit of close to 1 110 million items - these numbers do not include the “H7” reduced declaration form used for low value consignments (<150€) and introduced in July 2021. The amount of customs duties collected (EU27) in 2022 reached EUR 25.2 billion.

CUP Containers rev 2022

E-commerce trade has very different characteristics from more traditional trade. The “H7” reduced declaration form are used for low value consignments (<150€) and were introduced in July 2021.

CUP e-commerce 2022


Source: DG Taxation and Customs Union