The European Union Customs Union (EUCU) is a customs union which consists of all the member states of the European Union (EU), Monaco, and some territories of the United Kingdom which are not part of the EU (Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Bailiwick of Guernsey, Bailiwick of Jersey, and the Isle of Man). Some territories within the EU do not participate in the customs union, usually as a result of their geographic circumstances. Besides the EUCU, the EU, through separate agreements, is in customs unions with Andorra, San Marino, and Turkey, with the exceptions of certain goods.
The customs union is a principal component of the European Economic Community, established in 1958, and now succeeded by the European Union. No customs duties are levied on goods travelling within the customs union and—unlike a free trade area—members of the customs union impose a common external tariff on all goods entering the union.
A precondition of the customs union is that the European Commission negotiates for and on behalf of the Union as a whole in international trade deals such as the World Trade Organisation, rather than each member state negotiating individually.
Monaco and the British territories of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey are integral parts of the EU's customs territory.
|State / territory||Agreement||Entry into force||Notes|
|Monaco||Franco-Monegasque Customs Convention||1963|
| United Kingdom in respect of
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
|Act concerning the conditions of accession of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic and the adjustments to the Treaties on which the European Union is founded
Protocol No 3 on the sovereign base areas of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Cyprus
|1 May 2004|
| United Kingdom in respect of
|Documents concerning the accession to the European Communities of the Kingdom of Denmark, Ireland, the Kingdom of Norway and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Protocol No 3 on the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
|1 January 1973|
Andorra, San Marino and Turkey, a candidate for EU membership, are each in a customs union with the EU.
|State||Agreement||Entry into force||Notes|
|Andorra||Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Economic Community and the Principality of Andorra – Joint Declarations||1 January 1991||Excludes agricultural products|
|San Marino||Agreement on Cooperation and Customs Union between the European Economic Community and the Republic of San Marino||16 December 1991|
|Turkey||Decision No 1/95 of the EC-Turkey Association Council of 22 December 1995 on implementing the final phase of the European Union–Turkey Customs Union||31 December 1995||Excludes agricultural products|
While all EU member states are part of the customs union, not all of their respective territories participate. Territories of member states which have remained outside of the EU (overseas countries and territories of the European Union) generally do not participate in the customs union.
However, there are seven territories that are within the EU which do not participate in the customs union:
The Union Customs Code (UCC), intended to modernise customs procedures, entered into force on 1 May 2016. Implementation will take place over a period of time and full implementation is anticipated by 31 December 2020 at the latest. The European Commission has stated that the aims of the UCC are simplicity, service and speed.
The EU Customs Union sets the tariff rates for imports to the EU from other countries. These rates are detailed and depend on the specific type of product imported, and can also vary by the time of year. The full WTO Most Favoured Nation tariff rates apply only to those countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, or are not on a WTO recognised exemption scheme such as Everything but Arms (an EU support arrangement for Least Developed Countries).