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Taxation and Customs Union

Customs co-operation

Wider international cooperation is crucial in protecting the interests of EU citizens and business worldwide. The EU has signed more than 50 international agreements providing for customs cooperation and mutual administrative assistance with 80 countries outside the EU to support controls and enforcement and to simplify and harmonise customs procedures, which in turn reduces the administrative burden and costs for European companies.

Four new customs cooperation agreements were concluded in 2019 which significantly increased the share of EU trade covered (84.2% compared to 78.4% in 2018). These agreements ensure administrative assistance between EU and third country customs authorities in regards to the correct application of preferential rules of origin.

Technical assistance

The mutual exchange of knowledge and experience with non-EU customs administrations helps to increase their quality of service.

The technical assistance covered training, capacity building, sniffer dog training, etc.


.Source: DG Taxation and Customs Union

International cooperation and trade

The EU trade volume with non-EU countries, with which the EU has a binding agreement on customs cooperation, represents a major proportion of EU external trade.


Source: Eurostat